Virgin London Marathon: You're Not In

If you didn't snap up a Virgin London Marathon place in the ballot, don't be too disheartened

Prague Marathon, May 9 2010

If you didn't snap up a Virgin London Marathon place in the ballot, don't be too disheartened and definitely don't stop training – not only is there still a chance you could be joining the crowds in the capital next year (find out how below), but there are also plenty of 26.2-mile alternatives taking place both in the UK and overseas over the next 12 months. We're here to help you run a magnificent marathon, whatever your age, ability or ambitions.

It could be still be London...

  • Charity Places
    Hundreds of charities would love you to run for them, and many will still have places available (why run for charity?). Visit our extensive charity gallery to search for non-profit groups by category or locality – all the organisations listed have vast experience of supporting runners in the build-up to the marathon and on the day itself. Then use our real-life guide to making fundraising easy and watch the pounds pour in!

It could be another marathon...

Our event listings include more than 68 alternative UK marathons, nearly all with reader ratings from previous years. Plus, we also have a guide to the best spring European marathons if you fancy travelling further afield.

Keep checking back next week as we reveal our exciting new spring marathon competition - and how you could be part of the Runner's World team. We can't wait to tell you about this fabulous opportunity - get involved, and you could be training like an elite by Christmas!

When you do find a marathon...

... here's how we can help...

  • Weekly Emails
    Be sure to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter, which will start in December. Each edition will include a full week's schedule (for targets ranging from sub-3:00 to 5:00-plus), timely tips to help smash setbacks, and up-to-the-minute marathon news.

  • Expert Training Advice
    Get stuck into our BIG Marathon Index for information on how to make the most of your marathon preparation. You'll find sets of excellent schedules (whether you want a three-day-a-week plan or a customisable programme you can download straight to your Garmin Forerunner), plus links to our interactive SmartCoach tool, expert marathon Q&As, race-day checklists and more.

  • Build-up Events
    There's nothing like practice races to improve your fitness and your pacing skills. Our events listings are packed with big, friendly marathon build-up races, many of which you can enter online. You'll need to act quickly though - many sell out well in advance of their entry closing dates. Stay tuned for news of our 2012 pacing groups too.

  • Community Support
    Our Spring Marathon forum is THE place to talk marathon talk – whether you want to swap and share training tips, find a running partner (real-life or online) or make the most of the huge support group on the day. You'll be amazed by the amount of support you'll find here and you're sure to get a friendly answer, no matter how basic (or obscure) your question.
  • Finally, all that's left for us to say is: Good luck!

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Virgin London Marathon: You're In!
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Plan Early: Race Day Mental Strategies


Discuss this article

Found other marathons before....fed up of applying now....must be four/five years on the trot now....apply, get your hopes up, must be this year, the magazine's here....COMMISERATIONS!

Not again. Fed up.

Posted: 05/10/2011 at 08:55

Keep on trying.


Join a club - they have places.

Run for charity and fundraise.

Train well and get a good for age.
Posted: 05/10/2011 at 10:24

Does anyone know where I can find the 'good-for-age' cut-offs?
Posted: 06/10/2011 at 13:06

I ran for charity this year after a few failed ballot attempts. I'll admit its a hassle essentially paying £1200 for a marathon place and I wouldnt want to go that route every year, but the charities have taken over this race and it makes it hard for the amateur runner to get involved unless they are close to elite speeds or good for age.

I was hoping maybe there would be a second marathon in london in 2012, as its olympic year, that finishes  in the stadium and maybe follows some of the olympic route.

Even if you have a charity place, you still have to pay £100 yourself when you "buy" the place, plus all the travel/accomodation costs to and from the race AND the expo that its probably cheaper to fly over to amsterdam/berlin/dublin/edinburgh and do those.  Throw in the fact that with a charity place you'll be starting in the massive pack at the slower start, its not really a PB race.....that being said the buzz from the support was amazing. 

 And whilst clubs have places, they are usually only given to their fastest runners. So anyone outside of amateur elite is probably not the person for london any more :/

Posted: 11/10/2011 at 19:36

GFA on the VLM web site.

Think it's 3:15 for men and 3:45 for women under 49.

Oh yeah and clubs don't nec. give places to their fastest runners, some hold ballots, others open offers on merrit. (eg if you represent the club a lot at other races you may get offered a place).

Posted: 26/10/2011 at 18:45

I'd be very surprised if any clubs' places went to their fastest runners.  If you're fast enough to ''compete'' for your club in any sense, i.e. in the England Athletics national championship, then you would have qualified for a Champs place, which won't eat into the club's allocation. 

After that I can't imagine any clubs would favour, say, a 3:50 runner over a 4:30 runner.  If they did, I'd be pretty miffed if I was the slower runner!

Posted: 26/10/2011 at 19:00

Hi Everyone

 I've recently started working for a disabled children's charity in Hampshire and have just discovered we have 10 places for next year's marathon, due to our allocation not being used in the past., we have no registration fee but the usual £1500 sponsorship, please get in touch if you're interested!  We intend to go all out next year and really look after our runners & offer them a whole package of support!   

Posted: 10/11/2011 at 16:33

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