Ready to take on a challenge that will most probably change your life?

It’s time to enter the London Marathon 2024… but how?

Most of us know about the famous London Marathon Ballot but did you know that there is more than one way to get into the London Marathon? You can enter by way of Ballot, Good for age, charity, running club places, tour operators, and one brand new method – The Abbotts World Marathon Majors Lottery.

In this article, we are going to dive into each of these methods to help you secure your spot on the start line…

How Do You Enter The London Marathon 2024?

The reality is there are 55,000 spaces available at the start line… each year there are about 457,000 entries…and only 17,000 ballot spaces are available… Getting a spot at the London Marathon is not easy.

There are those who drop out due to reasons like injury and they can defer their places. All the methods listed below are only applicable to you if you are over 18.

Ways To Enter The London Marathon 2024:

  • Ballot Entry
  • Good For Age
  • Charity 
  • Running Club Places
  • Abbott World Marathon Majors Lottery
  • International Tour Operators
  • Championship Place

We will dive into each of these methods in just a minute. Let’s first have a look at the price of entering the London Marathon…

How Much Does It Cost To Enter The London Marathon 2024?

The cost of a place in the London Marathon for a UK participant is £49.99.

The price according to each entry method and your citizenship does vary…

Entry MethodCitizenshipEntry Price
BallotUK and InternationalFree (increase your chances of gaining a place by donating your entry fee when you enter.)
If you’re successful and get a place, it’s £49.99. 
Entrants outside of the UK pay £120 plus a £26 carbon offset levy.
Good For AgeUK only£49.99
CharityUK & InternationalRegistration fee of around £50-£100 and some charities would ask you to raise around £2,000.
Running Club PlacesUK onlyUp to the running club.
Abbott World Marathon Majors LotteryUK & International£326.00
International Tour OperatorsUK & International
Will be included in the tour package.
Championship placeUK, registered with your national governing body (England Athletics, Scotland Athletics, Welsh Athletics, or Athletics Northern Ireland) & International (Providing you are a member of a UKA membership body)UK: £49.99.
International runners: £120, plus a £26 carbon offset levy.

Ballot Entry For The London Marathon 2024

The 17,000 people that get chosen from the Ballot to run The London Marathon are chosen at random. Anyone from any country over the age of 18 can enter the Ballot.

The results of the 2024 TCS London Marathon Ballot were emailed on Thursday 6 July to everyone who entered.

If you manage to compete in the London Marathon 2024 then you do get a priority Ballot entry window… which we highly recommend taking advantage of.

Once you enter the Ballot you have to wait about a week to receive results, which will be sent via email.

If you do not get a place via Ballot entry, all is not lost – there are still plenty of ways to take part in the event.

But, did you know you can get a second chance?

If you choose to donate your entry fee during the ballot process, not only are you pre-paid and confirmed if you do get a ballot place, you get entered into a lucky draw for a second chance to win one of 2,000 extra places! 

If you don’t get chosen in the ballot your option number 2 is the charity entry, which we will get to further on in this article…

London Marathon Ballot Odds

The thing is, the London Marathon doesn’t give the exact number of places that are allocated by the ballot. So we can’t calculate the exact odds of you getting chosen, but we can get an estimate…

Between 17,000-20,000 of the 40,000 total spots are Ballot entries… for the London Marathon 2022 more than 350 000 runners entered the Ballot draw… so it’s quite obvious that the odds are not in your favor…

That’s why there are other ways of entering… Let’s have a look at the Good For Age Entry method.

Good For Age Entry For The London Marathon 2024

The Good For Age (GFA) entry method for the London Marathon is for UK residents only. This method involves you running a certain qualifying time according to your age… the times do get faster each year but the qualifying times get slower as your age goes up.

Places are allocated on a basis of the fastest runners getting chosen first.  So it’s not a guaranteed entry.

In the London Marathon 2024 there are 6,000 Good For Age places, split equally between men and women. 

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to enter the GFA entry and Ballot entry in case others in your age group submit faster times than you and you miss your spot. If you are successful in obtaining a GFA entry, your ballot application will be withdrawn, so it’s worth doing both. 

The times you need (achieved between 4 October 2021 and 23:59 2 October 2022) to qualify for London Marathon 2022 are

Good For Age Qualifying Times For London Marathon 2024

The qualifying period for the 2024 London Marathon began on 3 October 2022 and will end on 30 September 2023.

To have applied you must have achieved the relevant qualifying time:

18- 39sub 3:00:00sub 3:45:00
40- 44sub 3:05:00sub 3:50:00
45- 49sub 3:10:00sub 3:53:00
50- 54sub 3:15:00sub 4:00:00
55- 59sub 3:20:00 sub 4:05:00
60- 64sub 3:45:00sub 4:30:00
65- 69sub 4:00:00sub 5:00:00
70- 74sub 5:00:00sub 6:00:00
75- 79sub 5:15:00sub 6:20:00
80- 84sub 5:30:00sub 6:40:00
85+sub 6:10:00 sub 7:10:00

If you’ve missed the GFA qualification window or were unable to qualify, don’t panic, you can always try to get a charity entry…

Charity Entry For The London Marathon 2024

Each year, most major charities purchase a set number of London Marathon entry places through the Golden and Silver Bond schemes (about 15 000 available). These entries are given to runners who, in turn, raise a minimum amount of money for that charity.

It’s up to you as a runner to get in touch with any of the charities on the list provided and see if they have any places available.

This is a very popular way to get into The London Marathon and it’s always been one of the biggest charity events worldwide. You’ll also see people running in their charity shirts and or other extreme costumes

Here’s the list. 

If you’re unable to enter the London Marathon via Ballot entry, Charity entry, or Good For Age entry then hope is not lost yet!

Other Ways Of Entering The London Marathon 2024

  1. Running Club Places

This route of entry is for UK residents only. British Athletic affiliated running clubs can apply for places. (1000 available).

It’s up to the running clubs to decide who gets the places.

  1. Lottery via Abbott World Marathon Majors for Six Star Participants *NEW FROM NOVEMBER 2022*

Abbott World Marathon Major has 500 places for the London Marathon 2024 for Six Star Majors runners who have already earned 3, 4, or 5 stars.

Eligibility – you will need a profile with Abbot to have registered this many stars with them.

Abbot will contact eligible runners on December 5, 2022. The deadline for entry will be December 12, 2022.

See more about this here. 

  1. International Tour Operators

Another way to enter the London Marathon 2024 is through one of their recognized international tour operators. 

Very often (but not always) these include race entry, hotel stay, and some other perks depending on the operator.

Tour operators are available to runners according to each continent.

  1. Championship Entry

In order to qualify for a championship entry into the London Marathon 2024 your qualifying performance for a marathon or half marathon must have been run at an event with a course certified by UKA, the Association for International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), or a national governing body for distance running for the country in which the event was held.

Athletes also need to be registered with their national governing body (England Athletics, Scotland Athletics, Welsh Athletics, or Athletics Northern Ireland).

Championship Qualifying Times

Further information on applying for a Championship place in the 2024 TCS London Marathon will be available here by the end of August 2023.

Applications for Championship entries opened on 30 November 2022. 

Full MarathonMen: sub 2:40:00
Women: sub 3:14:00
Half MarathonMen: sub 1:12:30
Women: sub 1:28:00

If you are ready to take on this massive goal and experience this incredible race then you’ll probably need a training plan… Here’s one just for you: London Marathon Training: Plan & Execute The Perfect Race.

Good luck and we hope this article helped you grab your spot at the start line!


Shona is the former Head of Sport Science at the High-Performance Centre, University of Pretoria. She returned from Madrid, Spain, in 2013 where she completed her MBA in Sport Management with Universidad Europea de Madrid (Real Madrid FC). Shona’s current work and interest lies in endurance sport (running/triathlon) conditioning and sport science working with elite ultra-endurance athletes such as Caroline Wostmann (2015 Comrades & 2Oceans winner). Aside from football strength & conditioning, Shona’s other passion and expertise lies in endurance sport (running/triathlon) as well as Women in Sport. She has competed in 4 Half IronMan distance events and three 2Oceans Ultramarathons herself. She has also worked with other elite female athletes such as London 2012 bronze medallist in canoeing, Bridgitte Hartley.

Comments are closed.