Reasons to run for a charity as a ballot place runner

Opting to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for a charity is a fantastically rewarding experience, especially if you do it as a ballot place runner. Yes, there are many weeks of gruelling training ahead of you, but the fact that your efforts will help a worthy cause will make it a doubly rewarding experience.

If you want to use your ballot place to fundraise for charity, then all you need do is search our Ballot Place charity listings, choose a charity to fundraise for and get in touch with them – they’ll be delighted that you want to run for them. 

If you still need a few more reasons why you should use your ballot place to raise money for a great cause, then read on…

Saves the charity money

Every year charities buy places in the London Marathon then give them to runners who agree to raise a minimum amount of money – these are called charity entry places. However, if you use your own ballot place to run for charity, the charity gets all of the money you raise and won’t have to spend anything on your place. However much you raise, your contribution will make a massive difference to your charity and the people it helps.

Provides you with a purpose for running

Raising money for charity can give purpose to running the Virgin Money London Marathon and serve as a goal to work towards. If you’re running just for the sake of it, you may start to doubt yourself and feel tempted to give up when the going gets tough. You’ll be more inclined to get up and go training in the cold, wet winter months when you know you’re supporting a good cause.


When the dark nights have set in and the prospect of training in the cold and wet doesn’t quite seem appealing, you might be tempted to give it a miss or even consider pulling out of the race. However, if a charity is relying on you, you won’t want to let them down, so there will be an element of compulsion to make you continue with your training – which may even give you that extra push to complete the distance on the big day.

Personal charity goal

There may be a personal reason for you wanting to run for a charity – for example if you, a family member, or friend has been affected by a particular disease or illness. Running for a charity may help you feel like you’re doing your bit for the charity that is closest to your heart. It’s often the case that people are motivated by the memory of a loved one – and you might even be able to encourage one of your friends to run for the same charity.

Support network

Charities offer tremendous support and back-up to ensure that you get to the start line in the first place. They provide great support pre-race, offering training plans, so that you are well prepared for the big day. And it’s likely that they’ll help you with your other arrangements such as getting to the race and finding accommodation if you decide to stay over pre or post-race.  

Be with fellow runners

If you run for a charity then there’ll be plenty of you in the same boat, so you’ll never be without someone to turn to on race day should you be nervous, unsure or start to flag. Most charity runners will be distinctive because of their clearly marked running tops, so you’ll certainly be in no doubt who they are backing with their run. There is a real sense of camaraderie amongst charity runners on race day – and there will always be someone around willing you on.  

Good support on race day

You’ll have one less worry on race day, with the charities taking much of the hassle out of the event by ensuring you know everything you need to ensure you race day runs smoothly. And when you start to struggle, you can guarantee there’ll be gangs of cheerleaders from your charity lining the route to ensure that you get to the finish line.     

Gift aid benefits

When friends and family sponsor you, extra money can be added to their donations as Gift Aid if they’re UK taxpayers. This won’t cost them any more because Gift Aid is reclaimed from the Government, but your charity will certainly appreciate the difference. For more information please check out Virgin Money Giving, the official sponsorship website for the Virgin Money London Marathon.  

Helps raise awareness of the charity

High profile events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon are a great opportunity for the charity to raise awareness of their cause. Scores of runners decked out in their running vests on race day help bring the charity to public consciousness – and you as an individual will be just one of those runners. During the course of your own fundraising you‘ll also be highlighting the charity and its efforts to all your friends, family and those kind individuals that back you.  

Gets you fit

If you are just starting out in running, training for a marathon is a massive challenge – but, provided you do it properly, you will be fitter than you’ve probably been in some time, if not in the whole of your life. So in some respects, by running for a charity, you get something back in return – a fitter, healthier and more active you. It’s a good reason as any to get off the couch once and for all!

If you’d be interested in using your place in the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for charity, check out the list of charities that would love to hear from you.

Ballot Place Charity Listings