Read the latest government guidelines on exercise and Covid-19 in your area.
 
 

Charity FAQs

My charity wants to apply for places in the Virgin Money London Marathon

How can I secure charity entries in the Virgin Money London Marathon?
All charity entries for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon have been allocated. We will have more information about our Charity Advertising Partner Programme for the 2022 London Marathon later in January, so please check back soon. We will launch the Charity Ballot for the 2022 London Marathon later this year.

Entry console

When will I gain access to my online entry console?
We will send your charity access to your entry console for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon by 2 February. You will be able to use this entry system to register your participants for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon. If you have not received access to the entry console by the end of January, please contact our Customer Services team.

When does the entry system close? 
The entry system will close at 17:00 on Friday 16 July 2021. Please note, we cannot accept any late entries.

Do you have a guide on how to use the entry console? 
Yes, we will share a guide to the entry console when we send you the access to it.

Charity Bond Review

My charity currently has two Golden Bonds (10 places) – how many places will I have in the future?
From the 2026 London Marathon, charities that currently hold Golden Bonds will retain 80 per cent of those places (four out of the five places in each Golden Bond) and the Golden Bonds will be held for four years rather than the current five years. All charities that currently hold Golden Bonds will be contacted by 2 February with a breakdown of the number of places that they will have.

When will the transition take place?
We are giving charities five years’ notice of the changes. The changes will be implemented from the 2026 London Marathon.

I have a Silver Bond place in 2024 or 2025. Can my charity apply for the new two-year charity places?
Yes, if your charity opts to give up its Silver Bond place for that year.

What is happening to One Year Charity Bonds?
Due to the challenge of reallocating places from the cancelled mass 2020 London Marathon into the 2021, 2022 and 2023 events, there will be no One Year Charity Bonds available for the 2022 London Marathon but all existing One Year Charity Bond holders will be able to renew their One Year Charity Bonds in 2023, 2024 and 2025 (if they wish).

There will be no One Year Charity Bonds from 2026 onwards.

From 2026, the number of One Year Charity Bonds held by each charity will be reduced to 80 per cent of the current total and merged into the charity’s existing Golden Bonds (also reduced to 80 per cent of the current total) and move to a new four-year term. These places are guaranteed for two four-year terms (until 2033) if the charity opts to take them up.

What is happening to the annual Charity Ballot?
The Charity Ballot (500 one-year places) will continue and will be open to any charity that does not hold any guaranteed charity places.

When will more guaranteed charity places become available to new charities?
From 2024, any charity that does not currently hold a Golden Bond will be able to apply in a new ballot for two-year charity places. From 2026, charities that do not currently hold a Golden Bond will be able to apply in a new ballot for two-year or four-year charity places.

How do new charities apply for the new two-year charity places and four-year charity places?
Details will be available in early 2023.

How much do the Gold, Silver and One Year Bonds cost?
The current cost of a Golden Bond, Silver Bond or One Year Bond place is £370. The average amount raised by a runner in the Virgin Money London Marathon is more than £2,500.

Do charities have to reapply every two or four years for the new charity places?
Yes, charities will have to reapply at the end of each term. Charities that are unsuccessful in a first application will be given preference next time they apply. Full details on how to apply for the new charity places will be available in early 2023.

Can charities currently holding Golden Bonds apply for the new two-year or four-year charity places?
No. Only charities that do not currently hold Golden Bonds will be eligible to apply. If a charity that currently holds Golden Bonds wishes to enter the new scheme, they will be required to give up their current Golden Bond allocation. We expect that some charities holding a small number of Golden Bonds may opt to do this.

How will you ensure charities of all sizes will be able to access the new scheme?
The new two-year and four-year charity places will be allocated via a ballot giving all charities a fair chance. Charities applying for the top levels of places will go through a scrutiny process as part of the application. Only charities that do not currently hold Golden Bonds will be eligible to apply.

Is there a limit on how many new two-year or four-year charity places each charity can purchase?
Yes, there are a set number of places available at different levels and a set number of charities that can get those places. Full details will be available later this year.

How many charities will now be able to access guaranteed charity places in the London Marathon?
This review means that approximately 2,500 charities will be able to engage directly with the London Marathon every year (an increase of 1,000 on the current 1,500).

Why is it going to take five years before the new system is fully introduced?
Due to the challenge of reallocating places from the cancelled mass 2020 London Marathon into the 2021, 2022 and 2023 events, the first changes are in 2024 with the introduction of the new two-year charity places. Additionally, the impact of the Covic-19 pandemic on our long-standing charity partners means we have a responsibility to provide adequate time for those charities to plan ahead.

Why are the existing charities being allowed to keep 80% of their Golden Bonds?
We had to balance our responsibilities towards charities which have worked with us for decades, with opening up the London Marathon to other charities for the first time in more than 20 years.

Will the four-year Golden Bonds for existing customers continue to be automatically renewed?
Yes, existing Golden Bond holders will have their places guaranteed until 2033. The next review of the scheme will take place in 2029.

When will you communicate to the different charity what their detailed allocation is?
All charities will be contacted by the end of January with a breakdown of the number of places that they will have.

Event Day and Final Instructions

When will the Final Instructions be sent to participants? 
Final Instructions will be sent to participants in the build-up to Marathon Day.

Will we be allowed to have a cheer point on Event Day?  
We know much these cheer points mean to your participants and supporters, and we hope it will be possible to have them by October 2021. We are working through plans for this with our Operations Team and will be able to confirm in mid-2021.

How will you ensure this event is Covid secure and socially distanced? 
Our Operations Team is working hard to ensure and implement best practice so we can bring mass participation events back to the public for 2021. We will be keeping charities and participants informed of further details of the measures we will be taking when they are available.

How can I apply for a guide runner for one of my participants?
If your participants require a support or guide runner, please make sure e your participant is registered on your entry system first. Once entered, either you or the participant will need to contact us with the following information: 

  • The participant’s full name and entry reference number
  • Outline of their medical/health condition
  • Reason that support is required
  • Are there any other reasonable adjustments that would need to be made for them to safely participate?
  • Written documentation from a medical professional to support the request

Please email helpdesk@londonmarathonevents.co.uk with this information. We will then review your request.

Invoicing

When will invoices be sent for the 2021 event?  
Invoices for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon were sent to all charities by December 2020.

When will invoices be sent for the 2022 event?
Invoices for Golden and Silver Bonds, Charity Ballot and Charity Partner Packages will be sent to charities no later than November 2021.

Fundraising

What are you doing to encourage participants to choose a charity entry? 
When we direct ballot entrants to their ballot results online they will be presented alongside a range of content tailored to the entrant's outcome: 

  • Successful entrants will be encouraged to use their ballot place to raise money for charity and directed towards charities they may wish to consider running and fundraising for
  • Unsuccessful entrants will be given options for discovering charities that they may wish to approach about applying for a charity place. 

 

We hope this proactive approach to the ballot results will result in more participants choosing to run for a charity than ever before.