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Virgin London Marathon 2012 registration

April 26, 2011

Online ballot entries for the 2012 Virgin London Marathon open on 27 April 2011. As the world’s best-known marathon, attracting the world’s best runners and helping raise more than £50 million for charity each year, it’s best to get your ballot entry in sooner rather than later.

There are around 12,500 places up for grabs in the public ballot, and the ballot will close once 125,000 entries have been received. This inevitably means that nine out of ten people applying for places in the race will be left disappointed. Also, since the rejected-seven-years-in-a-row-and-you’re-in-on-the-eighth rule has now been dropped, persistence won’t necessarily pay off.

So, how do you make sure you’re on the start line next year?

1. Run for charity

Each year charities buy thousands of bond places in the Virgin London Marathon. Picking a charity close to your heart and pledging to raise a certain amount of money for them is a sure-fire way of getting a place in the race. However, it’s important that you are realistic about the amount you think you can raise as some charities will ask you to pledge to raise at least £2500. If you’re feeling more conservative about the amount you can raise, some charities will ask you to raise considerably less.

The advantage of running for a charity is that they will provide you with additional support, such as regular updates, fundraising kit and a post-race reception.

If you’re thinking about running for charity, you might find these fundraising tips useful.

2. Good for age or Chamionship entry

If you’re sprightly and have already run a fast marathon or half marathon, you may qualify for either a Good for Age or Championship entry. The qualifying times for these vary year to year, but for the 2011 race Good for Age qualifying was as follows:


Age 18–40: 2:45-3:10

Age 41–59: sub 3:15

Age 60–64: sub 3:30

Age 65–69: sub 4:00

Age 70+: sub 5:00


Age 18–49: 3:15–3:50

Age 50–54: sub 4:00

Age 55–59: sub 4:15

Age 60–64: sub 4:30

Age 65–69: sub 5:30

Age 70+: sub 6:30

In order to qualify for a Champtionship place, you would need to run:


A full marathon in sub 2:45 or a half-marathon in sub 1:15


A full marathon in sub 3:15 or a half-marathon in sub 1:30

In order to apply for either a Good for Age or a Championship entry, you need to have proof of a qualifying performance (i.e. a race certificate or the results published by the race organisers) within 12 months of the race. The principal difference between the two categories is where you start the race – Good for Age goes from the Red start, at the head of the mass runners, while Championship starts from the same line as the elites.

Most importantly, the deadline for these entries is substantially later than the deadline for the ballot places. This means that if you’re close to a qualifying time, you may yet be able to shave off the necessary seconds to secure yourself guaranteed entry.

3. A running club entry
Training schedules available now as part of Marathon Training: Your step-by-step guide to planning, training for and running 26.2 miles - available now from AmazonUKA affiliated running clubs receive a limited number of guaranteed entries to the Virgin London Marathon. The criteria for handing these out will be decided by your club, but these are not always reserved for the fastest runners. If you’ve been with a running club for a long time (the places are unlikely to be handed out to someone who’s only just joined, unless there are exceptional circumstances), it’s worth asking about club entries.

Good luck with getting into the 2012 Virgin London Marathon. Coming a matter of months before the 2012 Olympics, it’s guaranteed to be a special event. If you’re looking for  some help with the coming months of training, you might want to check out Marathon Running, available now exclusively on Amazon.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2011 4:01 pm

    Currently training for the VLM 2012. Raising money for shelter. Enjoyed your post.


  1. $25 for Endurance-Sports Training Package for a Fall Race from Team In Training ($100 Value) - Koream Deals

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