Runners are starting to get some early miles in and take any excuse to carb load as part of training for the 2024 TCS London Marathon.
More than half a million people have already applied via a ballot to take part in the 2024 marathon, due to take place in April.
The majority of places are now taken and runners are looking into training plans, which could include doing a half marathon in the capital this autumn.
Ahead of the event, the London Marathon has been awarded a gold certification status by the Council for Responsible Sport following assessments of its planning, communications and community access.
With the countdown to the April event underway, we take a look at what we know about it so far.
What date is the London Marathon 2024?
The London Marathon will be held in 2024 on Sunday April 21.
The race reverted to its springtime slot in 2023 after being held in the autumn during the pandemic years.
How to enter the London Marathon 2024?
The results of the ballot were emailed on July 6 to everyone who entered and those who put their name forward will now have found out if they were successful. Entrants should have paid the entry fee before August 1.
Those who didn’t bag a spot through the ballot can try other ways to take part.
Each year a number of charities are given spots to run at the event. Those who missed out on the ballot can contact charities such as Mind and Barnardos and volunteer to run on their behalf while fundraising for the charity. A list of charities that are taking part in the 2024 event can be found here.
If you have an impressive marathon time you might be able to apply for a Good For Age place at the London Marathon. Applications for this will be made available at the end of September.
You can also book with a tour operator. These packages may include travel, accommodation and an itinerary around the London event.
You can also enter the 2024 TCS London Marathon MyWay to complete the 26.2 mile marathon from any other location around the world.
People associated with the British Athletics Club can also apply for a spot in the marathon.
Don’t feel like running? You can also sign up as a volunteer to help the event run smoothly.
What is a Good For Age place at the London Marathon 2024?
Open to the fittest and fastest, the London Marathon reserves entries for those with exceptional times.
“Meeting the qualifying time for your age category does not guarantee entry into the event, but simply the opportunity to submit an application,” guidance states.
The maximum number of Good For Age places is 6,000 (3,000 men and 3,000 women) and places will be allocated on a fastest first basis relative to age and qualifying time.
“If you have a GFA qualifying time that is less than 10 minutes under the qualifying time for your age group, we recommend that you still enter the TCS London Marathon Ballot to increase your chances of gaining a place,” the advice adds.
The qualifying period for the 2024 TCS London Marathon began on October 3 and will end on September 30. Runners will need proof of their time to qualify.
These are the times runners will need to set to qualify for Good For Age.
Can I enter with a charity?
Gaining a charity place is an often-used method of getting into the London Marathon.
Charities can reserve a number of places and give them to runners who will be able to take part if they pledge to raise a certain amount of money.
London Marathon guidance states: “There are usually more people interested in running for a charity than there are charity places available, so often charities will select participants based on their connection with the cause and how much money they are realistically able to raise. They will ask you questions in order to determine this.”
The charity will equip you with sponsorship help and also give you a running vest.
The London Marathon website has a list of charities that have reserved spaces.
What happens if you don’t raise the minimum sponsorship for the London Marathon?
Runners have about three months to raise the money, which can be in the thousands. There is no hard and fast rule for what happens if runners cannot meet the target and it might be down to each charity.
The CF Trust, for one example, states that not meeting the target “may restrict you from being given a charity place for any event in the future”.
Cancer Research UK has stated it will not ask for the remainder of the amount to be handed over if there is a shortfall.
Charities are very keen to support their runners and help them reach their targets, and can offer lots of ideas.
Can I defer the London Marathon 2024?
If you have secured a spot but are now unable to take part, you can defer your London Marathon entry for the following year. However, your eligibility will depend on the type of place you secured.
More information is expected to be released about how to defer in the coming months. If you are pregnant or postpartum you can defer for up to three years and can keep hold of a Good For Age time.
What is the route for the London Marathon 2024?
The route is set to be the same for 2024 as it has been for most of its history dating back to 1981. It will start in Charlton and finish at The Mall, taking in landmarks such as Tower Bridge and Cutty Sark.
Who is going to enter the London Marathon 2024?
London is one of the most famous and popular marathons among international athletes and always draws some star names. In 2023, it was won by Kelvin Kiptum and Sifan Hassan.
As for 2024, the names have not yet been revealed.