Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right London Marathon: your winning guide

London Marathon: your winning guide

All you need to know about the London Marathon 2019, whether you want to enter yourself next year or plan to cheer loudly the sidelines

Roger Allen for Virgin Money London Marathon

The race is on and the 2019 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 2019, 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 impractical 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. 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 via their favourite charity.

Where is the London Marathon?

The 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 2019 London Marathon?

The 2019 marathon takes place on Sunday April 28. 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 starts before the first race at 8.55am.

How do I enter next year's London Marathon?

Woah, hold your horses Speedy Gonzales and put down those trainers. 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 2020's race. 

The London Marathon guide

In pictures: the 2017 London Marathon
News

In pictures: the 2017 London Marathon

Here’s a selection of our favourite photos of this year's epic race around the city

Six dos and don’ts for watching the London Marathon
News

Six dos and don’ts for watching the London Marathon

Don't shout ‘nearly there’. It’s a lie

Here’s how to enter the 2020 London Marathon
News

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

Mr Gorilla’s guide to the London Marathon
News

Mr Gorilla’s guide to the London Marathon

 ‘Take your time. Why not turn up at 11.30am and be the last to start?’

More running motivation

14 historical sights along the route
News

14 historical sights along the route

Explore bits of London you've never seen before 

Mo Farah’s favourite running spots
News

Mo Farah’s favourite running spots

The Olympian shares his top tips

Running groups in London
Sport and fitness

Running groups in London

We’ve rounded up the best running crews to roll with

London's best running shops
Sport and fitness

London's best running shops

Jog on into one of these excellent running shops

Discover London's sporty side

Lidos and outdoor pools in London
Things to do

Lidos and outdoor pools in London

London has loads of options for front-crawlers and pool-posers alike. Just remember: no heavy petting

The best dance fitness classes in London
Things to do

The best dance fitness classes in London

Keep fit the fun way with our pick of exercise classes where you basically get to pretend that you're Beyoncé for an hour