414,168 people enter the 2019 London Marathon, making it the most popular marathon on the planet

It’s official, the London Marathon is the most popular marathon on the planet, with a world record total of 414,168 people entering the ballot to take part in the 2019 race.

Related: London Marathon 2018 – the stats 

The new world record total of applicants from the UK and overseas is a 7.3% increase on last year, in which 386,050 entered the ballot to run.

This year’s ballot includes 347,876 applicants from the UK, which is 20,376 more people than last year. There was also a total of 66,292 people entering the overseas ballot.

Related: 15 amazing UK marathons that aren’t in London 

According to the official stats, just under 55% of the UK applications in the London Marathon 2019 ballot were from people who have never run a marathon before.

Compared to the first London Marathon in 1981, where fewer than 300 of the 6,300 finishers were women, 44% of the 2019 ballot applicants were female. This equates to more than 154,000 female runners from the UK applying to run and for the second year in a row, there are more female than male first-time marathon runners from the UK in the ballot.

Related: Why you don’t remember the pain of running marathons 

Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon said: “This world record reflects the extraordinary inspiration of the 38th London Marathon on 22 April and our Spirt of London theme. One of our goals is to inspire people to take up sport and it’s fantastic that more than 190,000 people from the UK have been inspired to apply to run a marathon for the first time in 2019.

“The London Marathon continues to have an extraordinary impact that has inspired profound social change. It is an iconic event, recognised as the world’s greatest marathon, that compels people to take up running and to raise millions for charity. In addition, The London Marathon Charitable Trust has enabled thousands more to get active through its funding of a huge range of recreational projects.”

For those who have entered the ballot, you won’t get your results till October 2018, but if you want to guarantee your spot in a spring marathon next year, take a look at these other popular races to sign up to

If you are lucky enough to get a place, take a look at our foolproof guide to running your first marathon