Do you have to pay to enter London Marathon? How much it costs, can anyone run it, ballot entry explained

The London Marathon 2022 gets underway on Sunday morning, in what is expected to be the biggest turnout in the race’s history.

For the third consecutive year, the TCS London Marathon is set to take place in October.

The event will kick off on Sunday morning (2nd October) in what is thought to be the biggest turnout the London Marathon has seen - with around 100,000 expected to take part on both the street course and the virtual course.

The virtual marathon can be run anywhere in the world between 00:00 and 23:59 on Sunday, however many runners will be eager to enjoy the whole experience at atmosphere of racing through the streets of the English capital.

The London Marathon is one of the biggest marathons in the world and isn’t as simple as turning up on the day with your running shoes on.

Ahead of this weekend, here are all the details of how to sign up for the marathon and how much it will cost you...

Do you have to pay to enter the London Marathon?

Runners won’t have to pay to enter the ballot, however if you are successful then you will have to pay for your place in the London Marathon.

The cost of your place in the TCS London Marathon for successful UK participants is £49.99.

Meanwhile, the cost of a place for international participants is £120, plus a £26 carbon offset levy.

Ballot entry explained

Most people who run the London Marathon have applied through the ballot. The ballot is completely random and only 17,000 people get in - a very small number compared to the whopping 457,861 that entered for the 2020 edition.

The London Marathon ballot for the 2023 race will open tomorrow (Saturday 1st October) and it is expected to be open for around a week.

Can anyone run the London Marathon?

Anyone can run the London Marathon, however nobody is guaranteed a place in the race if they have applied through the ballot.

If you aren’t successful via the ballot, there are various different ways you can be guaranteed a place.

• Charity

Running with a chariety is what is called a ‘Golden Bond’ place, with only around 15,000 available. Charity places have to pay to guarantee their spot and will have to reach a minimum fundraising amount the runner is expected to raise in return.

The amount varies but around £2,000 is fairly standard. You can look online to see the variety of different charities that could be available during the London Marathon.

• Running club places

British Athletic affliated clubs can apply for places - though there is only around 1,000 available. The clubs themselves will decide who gets their places and will often do their own ballots.

• Good For Age places

UK residents can also access the London Marathon through one of the 6,000 Good For Age places - allocated on a ‘fastest first’ basis. Qualifying times vary for different age groups - for example, it is currently sub 3:00:00 for men aged between 18 and 39, compared to 3:20:00 for the 55-59 age group.

• Competitions

There are also a number of competitions that offer out places in the London Marathon as a prize. The best places to look are the race organisers, running magazines or sponsors - eg Flora or Lucozade Sport.

• Sponsors

Sponsors linked to the marathon usually have a small number of places available for them, so you could get your hands on one if you work there.

• Celebrities

Celebrities can also earn themselves a place in the London Marathon for simply being well known, thus generating further interest in the race.