You have until October 19 to apply for a place in next year’s Flora London Marathon!
As in recent years, if you have entered through the ballot and been rejected from the last five London Marathons, you are guaranteed a place for 2008.
You can also be certain of a place if you qualify for a Good For Age time (see below), or run for a charity offering a Golden Bond place (you promise to raise a certain level of sponsorship). Or, of course, you can simply apply via the ballot.
The application forms
Application forms are tucked inside Marathon News, FLM’s magazine. If you have previously applied for the race, you should have received your copy already – if not, they are available at most sports shops, free of charge. (Click here to search for a stockist in your area).
More than 110,000 people applied for 47,000 ballot places in last year’s race, and organisers expect around 80 per cent of those with a place to actually make it to the start line.
This year, entries close on October 19, and you will hear in the first two weeks of December if you have been successful in the ballot. The race itself is on April 13, 2008.
The guaranteed places
As well as five-time reject places, FLM also allocate places to UK Athletics-affiliated clubs. The number of places given to each club is proportionate to the number of first-claim members it has. Deciding which member gets the places is for the individual organisations, but most will give them to the runners who contribute the most to the club, rather than the fastest marathoner.
Good for your age
If you have run the following times in 2006 or 2007 you can apply for a guaranteed place. To do this, you need to write to FLM with proof of your age and your time. A photocopy of the results and your passport will do fine.
|Men 18-40 ||2:45 - 3:00 ||Women 18-49 ||3:15-3:45
|Men 41-59 ||sub-3:15||Women 50-54 ||sub-4:00
|Men 60-64 ||sub-3:30 ||Women 55-59 ||sub-4:15
|Men 65-69 ||sub-4:00||Women 60-64 ||sub-4:30
|Men 70+ ||sub-5:00 ||Women 65-69 ||sub-5:30
| || ||Women 70+ ||sub-6:30
Charities buy entries en-block for FLM, and then offer them as Golden Bond places to runners who agree to raise a minimum level of sponsorship. This can be from £750 upwards, which means getting 30 people to sponsor you a pound a mile. Running for a charity means you get encouragement and training advice in the build-up to the race, a special vest to run in, support crews along the route, an invite to a post-race party, and an immense sense of satisfaction. Look in the pages of Runner's World magazine in the run up to the marathon, or check out our charities section for a list of good causes to run for.
If you’re unsuccessful in the main ballot, your cheque will be destroyed. But, if you bequeath your entry fee to the London Marathon Charitable Trust (which provides money for recreational schemes in London) then you will be put into a second round ballot for the chance to win one of the last 1,000 places.
A number of places are allocated to overseas entrants. These are administered by Sports Tours International. You can get an entry form by calling them on +44 (0) 161 703 8161, or by writing with a self-addressed envelope and two international reply coupons to: Paul Rimmer, Sports Tours International, 91 Walkden Rd, Walkden, Manchester M28 7BQ, UK.
Don't forget the forums!
Don’t forget the forums! Hundreds of runners post every day on the Runner’s World London Marathon Forum. Why not join in and find out what other runners are doing in as they prepare for the race?
Flora London Marathon, PO Box 3460, London SE1 0YA
020 7902 0200(They cannot send you an entry form, but can tell you where your nearest stockist is)