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!