The race is on and the 2020 London Marathon is nearly upon us! Join cheering crowds and fancy dress fundraisers at the world-famous London Marathon. Covering 26.2 miles and shutting down roads left, right and centre, it takes over the city for one weekend every April. Ahead of this year's race, here's everything you need to know about running the London Marathon 2020, whether you're a road-pounding-pro or a newbie dressed as a stormtrooper.
What is the London Marathon?
Attracting professionals, celebrities and some truly ludicrous outfits, the London Marathon is a 26.2-mile race around the streets of London. One of the key London events in spring, it attracts just as many supporters as participants, and the atmosphere on the day is absolutely buzzing, whatever the weather.
If you're out and about in the afternoon of marathon day here are the best places to catch all the action and expect to see weary runners propping up the bar at pubs across the capital. Those who'd like to run can enter by ballot or take up a fundraising place to go the distance via their favourite charity.
Where is the London Marathon?
The marathon route starts south of the Thames at Blackheath and passes through Greenwich before crossing the river over Tower Bridge. It then continues through central London before finishing in glory in front of Buckingham Palace.
When is the 2020 London Marathon?
The 2020 marathon takes place on Sunday April 26. The event will be streamed onto the big screens at Blackheath where the 40,000 runners begin the race. Or, if you fancy watching from the comfort of your own home it'll be live on air in the UK on BBC1 and BBC2, coverage begins before the first race starts at 8.55am.
How do I enter next year's London Marathon?
Woah, hold your horses, Speedy Gonzales, and put down those trainers. The ballot for next year's event doesn't open until May, so you've got some time to decide whether you want to make a run for it, but here's our handy guide on how to enter 2021's race. (Note: we have no idea whether late-night kebabs can form part of your training plan).
The London Marathon guide
Here’s how to enter the 2020 London Marathon
You’ve spent your Sunday watching thousands of runners whiz past you on their way to ticking off 26.2 miles around the capital and now you want a slice of the London Marathon action. Don’t dust off your singlet just yet, though. Here’s everything you need to know about entering. The ballot opens in early May… The exact date is still TBC but once the ballot opens, you’ll have five days to decide whether to take the plunge. The 2019 ballot opened eight days after the 2018 race, so we’re going to guess that the 2020 edition’s ballot will open sometime around May 6. You can find out more on the London Marathon website. More than 400,000 entered the 2019 ballot, with only 17,500-ish spaces up for grabs, so it’s a real lucky dip! …But you won’t know if you’re in until October That means you’ve got five months to convince yourself entering the marathon is a brilliant idea – or talk yourself out of it. Whatever the case, you’ve got nothing to worry about as you won’t need to pay the entry fee (last year it was £39) unless you accept. Oh, and it’s worth remembering that you need to be 18 years old on race day to take part. Can’t get a ballot place? You can always run for charity Because everyone and their dog wants to run the marathon, ballot places are like gold dust. If your ballot application is unsuccessful, charities usually have a bunch of places ready and waiting. You’ll just need to commit to raising a minimum amount. There is another way to get a place (but there’s