Charity FAQs

Charity FAQs for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

Please note: this article was updated with further answers to questions from charities on 14 August 2020.

After months of intensive work and consultation with London’s authorities, organisers have confirmed the plans for The 40th Race on Sunday 4 October 2020.

Please note: you do not need to take any action now. We will be in touch with further details in mid-September.

How will participants let us know which year they would prefer to run?
On 1 September we will be asking all participants which year they would like to defer their place to. We have notified all charity place participants that their place is owned by the charity and ultimately it is your decision which year you allow them to defer to.

The event year will be the participant’s preference to help guide your conversations. You do not need to accept this year and it is your organisation’s choice if you wish to allocate a participant a place in a future year.

We have directed all charity place participants to contact their charity in early September to discuss their options.

When will we find out our allocation of places for 2021? How should we allocate our rollover places?
We will be in touch in mid-September to confirm how many rollover entries you will be allocated in 2021, along with the processes for confirming these rollovers or requesting a refund for your places.

We will inform you of your allocation of places for 2021, including how many rollover places you will receive from 2020. It will be up to your charity to assign these places as you deem appropriate.

Should you wish to offer every participant from 2020 a place, and you have the places from your current allocation of bonds and advertising places, you may do so. However, please note that this could limit the number of new participants you may register in 2021.

Will there be a 2021 ballot, and if so when will it be?
The ballot for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon will open on Sunday 4 October 2020 and close at 17:00 on Friday 9 October 2020.

Will I get my allocation of places for 2021?
You will receive your full allocation of Golden Bonds, Silver Bonds, Charity Ballot entries and advertising entries that have already been confirmed for 2021. In addition, you will receive your first allocation of rolled-over places from 2020.

Will guide runners have to pay to enter the virtual event? Will they also receive a T-shirt and medal?
Any participant who needs a support runner will be provided with a free place for their support runner as usual, and the support runner will be sent a medal and T-shirt. Please contact us with the full name and date of birth of the participant, as well as the full name and email address of their guide/support runner and the reason for the request and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible to confirm.

Will there be training advice available? Is it safe to recommend someone run an unsupported marathon?
Participants have from 00:00 to 23:59:59 BST on Sunday 4 October to complete the marathon distance so they will be able to take regular breaks/slow down/walk if necessary. We will provide training guidance in the run-up to the event, as well as event day planning and preparation advice for all participants taking part in the 40th Race.

What are the terms and conditions associated with entry to the virtual event for participants?
The terms and conditions for the event can be viewed here.

Will the virtual event count towards the London Classics?
Yes the virtual event will count towards the London Classics, as long as the participant completes the 26.2-mile distance outdoors on 4 October 2020. Please note the London Classics is an outdoor challenge and therefore cannot be completed on a treadmill.

Will the one year bonds held by my charity be renewed?
One year bonds are renewed each year following that year’s event. We will contact all one year bond holders in February 2021 to discuss the allocation. Please note that charities should be prepared that one year bonds are unlikely to be renewed at previous levels.

What is the plan for places received in exchange for Prudential RideLondon places?
Your allocation of places received in exchange for Prudential RideLondon entries will be unaffected.

Will we receive a refund for our Realbuzz places?
You may request a refund for places you received through the purchase of advertising packages. However, no refunds will be available for the remaining cost of website advertising as that has been delivered.

What happens if I seek a refund for my 2020 places?
If you seek a refund for any of your existing entries into the London Marathon, those places will not be eligible to rollover. Any refund given will only be for 2020 places and any places for future years will be unaffected.

Are we able to request refunds for some places and rollover others?
The refund request process is still being developed. There will be an opportunity to receive a refund for some places and to rollover others.

Will I still be able to apply for the charity ballot?
We are in the process of confirming whether or not we will be able to hold a charity ballot for 2021. We will make this information public once a decision is reached.

Will we be able to renew our bonds?
As previously announced, the bond system is currently under review. We cannot confirm at this point if all bonds will be renewed at levels from previous years.

Can participants take part in the virtual event and defer?
If a participant takes part in the virtual marathon, this will not affect the number of entries you are eligible to defer. This means that participants will be able to take part in the virtual event AND defer to a future year, should you wish to allocate them a place.

Why are charities being charged £20?
The entry fee for the event is £20 (£20 plus £5 for international runners to cover overseas postage and packaging). Charities will be charged £20 (or £20 plus £5 for international participants) for every entry they take in the virtual event.

We believe this will improve the accountability of the participant to fundraise for your organisation. If you would like to pass this cost onto your participants either as a donation, or registration fee, you can. As with your current charity place participants, the place will be owned by your organisation.

How many entries will we receive for the virtual event and how many places are there in total?
to take up the same number of virtual entries as places held in the 2020 London Marathon. Virtual entries not claimed by charities will be offered out through general entry from 25 August. There may be the opportunity for charities to purchase additional virtual entries and we will be in touch if this is the case.

What is the process for allocating places in the virtual entries? Can we add new participants? Can we replace participants?
All participants listed on the console once the deadline closes will be entered into the virtual marathon. You will need to remove participants who are no longer taking part and you will be able to add replacement participants, even if they were not originally registered for the 2020 marathon. A new console will be sent for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Can own place participants enter? How do they pay?
All participants who had a confirmed place on Sunday 4 October will be offered the chance to take part in The 40th Race. The entry fee is £20 (or £20 plus £5 for international runners to cover postage and packaging).

What is the process for paying for virtual entries?
You will be invoiced for the total number of places you choose to claim. You will be invoiced in October with payment due in November.

What if our participant does not respond within the six days?
If your participant does not respond within the allotted timeline, you will be able to see if we have received no response from them on your current console. You can then choose to remove them from your console or retain them if they are taking a place in the virtual event.

What happens to our charity’s places in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon?
These will be rolled over to a future London Marathon in 2021, 2022 or 2023. This applies to all charity guaranteed places: Golden Bond, Silver Bond, Charity Ballot and advertising package places.

We are recommending that you allocate the rolled-over place to a runner who was raising funds for you – but this is your choice.

We will be in touch with further details of how your places will be allocated over the coming events in mid-September.

Are we required to allocate a place in future London Marathons to the people who had one of our places in 2020?
It is not a requirement to do this, but it is a recommendation.

We realise that maximising fundraising is so important to you at the moment and therefore you must be able to make the right decision for the circumstances of your charity.

If our charity does not want to defer places to future London Marathons, will we get a refund?
Yes – if you do not want to defer your places, London Marathon Events will offer you a full refund at the Golden Bond price for the charity places you purchased, which will be processed in October 2020.

This includes any places purchased as part of advertising packages.

Advertising package fees will not be refunded.

Any places purchased as part of the Charity of the Year will be refunded at the price purchased.

We will be in touch with how you can request a refund in mid-September.

What are your plans now for Sunday 4 October when the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon was due to take place?
All runners will be invited to enter the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon and be part of The 40th Race by completing the 26.2-mile marathon distance on Sunday 4 October from home or wherever they are on a course of their choice.

All runners who had an entry for the rescheduled 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon or who had already deferred to the 2021 race will be able to defer their place to a future London Marathon, whether or not they run the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 4 October.

There will be elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes in an enclosed biosphere environment in St James’s Park in London.

BBC Sport will be televising extensive coverage of the elite races and following runners across the UK taking part in the virtual event.

How many places can our charity have in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon?
All charities that held places in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will be given the same allocation of places in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon.

We will email all charities with places on Wednesday 19 August. Charities must confirm how many places they wish to use from their allocation by Tuesday 25 August. Any unused places will then be made available for general sale on Wednesday 26 August.

All entries must be filled by charities no later than 17:00 on Friday 18 September.

Will our current runners take part in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon?
We hope so. All charity runners will be offered the opportunity to enter the virtual London Marathon. Runners can only guarantee a place in the virtual event by agreeing their participation with their chosen charity. Your Charity runners will have priority when entering the event, prior to entries going on general sale on Wednesday 26 August.

To ensure there is still a contract between you (the charity) and the runner who was running for you and now still wants to run for your charity, you (the charity) will pay the entry fee.

The cost to charities of each place in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon is the same as the cost to runners – £20 for a UK runner or £20 plus £5 overseas postage and packaging charge for International runners.

On 19 August, through your charity console, we will confirm the list of runners that have told us they would like to run for you on 4 October.

The next steps are as follows:

  • Your runners will have from Wednesday 12- Monday 17 August to confirm whether or not they would like to take part in the virtual marathon for your charity (subject to your approval). We will email all runners directly to confirm this.
  • On Wednesday 19 August we will email your charity to confirm the total number of runners that would like to take part for your charity. We will also ask you to confirm how many of your total allocation of places you would like to keep.
  • You will then have until Tuesday 25 August to confirm how many places you would like to keep. Any non-claimed places will be released back into general sale.
  • You will then have until 17:00 on Friday 18 September to fill your places.

Should you not wish to accept any of your allocation in the event, your runners will not be guaranteed an entry and will need to be directed to general entry. It will be the responsibility of your charity to discuss this individually with your runners.

Is it possible to purchase more places for our charity in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon before entries are opened to all?
We believe it will be – see above. We will be in contact with charities if further places are available.

Once runners and charities with places in The 40th Race and those who had already deferred to 2021 have decided whether they want to take up their places in the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, entries will go on general sale to the public from Wednesday 26 August to Saturday 25 September.

Will this affect renewal of our places for the 2021 event?
Existing Gold, Silver and Charity Bonds for the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon will not be affected.

Will my charity be refunded for the advertising purchased for the 2020 event?
No. Advertising for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon has been delivered and therefore no refund is due.

How do I find out further information?
A recording of the webinar for charities is available to watch now.