14 Ways to Qualify For the London Marathon

Every way to qualify including the London Marathon qualifying times

London Marathon qualifying times are only one way runners can enter the race. There is the ballot(lottery) method, running for a charity, and many more. We’ve outlined them below.

We’ve also outlined how to qualify for the Boston Marathon, how to qualify for the New York City Marathon, and how to qualify for the Kona Ironman.

When is the London Marathon?

The 2025 London Marathon will be held on Sunday, April 27, 2025.

The professional wheelchair athletes first at approximately 8:50am.

London Marathon start time for Professional elite women is at 9am. London Marathon start time for Professional men begins around 9:35am.

London Marathon start time for amateur athletes begins at approximately 9:40am in waves. The last start wave will begin around 11:15am.

1 – The London Marathon Qualifying Times

London Marathon elite runners

Meeting the qualifying time for your age group is akin to golden tickets for the London Marathon.

In the London Marathon, these “qualification standards” are referred to as the Good For Age (GFA) times.

What Are Good For Age Times?

The London Marathon adopted the term “Good For Age”(GFA) for the qualifying standard times for each age group. If you have completed a qualifying marathon under these finishing times, you can apply for entry into the London Marathon.

You have to submit evidence for your GFA spot and entry is not guaranteed even if you can meet these benchmarks. Good For Age places are allocated based on the fastest times submitted relative to each age group’s qualifying standard on a ‘fastest first’ basis. The fastest runners in each age group are given priority, so the more under the time limit you can get, the better.

However, remember that the fastest runners are given priority. The London Marathon caps the number of GFA places at 6,000, distributed equally between male and female runners based on the fastest qualifying times in comparison to the set standards.

Oh, and only UK residents and citizens are allowed entry using the GFA time entry method.

Men and Women Good For Age Entry Qualifying Time Chart

Age Men Women
18-39 2:55:00 3:40:00
40-44 3:00:00 3:45:00
45-49 3:05:00 3:48:00
50-54 3:10:00 3:55:00
55-59 3:15:00 4:00:00
60-64 3:37:00 4:25:00
65-69 3:55:00 4:55:00
70-74 4:55:00 5:55:00
75-79 5:10:00 6:15:00
80-84 5:30:00 6:40:00
85-89 6:10:00 7:10:00
90+ 7:20:00 7:45:00

In an exciting twist, the London Marathon accepts virtual marathon qualifying times (from the TCS London Marathon MyWay) alongside evidence of an ‘in-person’ half marathon time that meets specific qualifying standards.

For instance, to qualify through the virtual London Marathon, male runners aged 18-39 must finish a half marathon in under 1:23:37, while females must do so in under 1:44:23 during the qualifying period. Proof of this ‘in-person’ half marathon time meeting the GFA standards within the same qualifying period is mandatory when using times from virtual races to qualify.

Men and Women Good For Age Virtual Event Qualifying Time Chart

Age Men Women
18-39 1:23:37 1:44:23
 40-44 1:26:00 1:46:47
 45-49 1:28:09 1:48:13
 50-54 1:30:32 1:51:34
 55-59 1:32:56 1:53:42
 60-64 1:44:23 2:05:25
 65-69 1:51:34 2:19:16
 70-74 2:19:16 2:47:13
 75-79 2:26:27 2:56:33
 80+ 2:33:22 3:05:52 

The London Marathon Qualifying Period Window

For the 2025 TCS London Marathon, the qualifying period starts on October 1, 2023, and ends on September 30, 2024.

To be considered for a Good For Age place in the annual London Marathon, qualifying times must be achieved within this designated period.

2 – Championship Entry Criteria

If you are really fast and are registered with one of the U.K. national governing bodies (Scotland Athletics, Welsh Athletics, England Athletics, and Athletics Northern Ireland), the Championship qualifying critieria method may be for you.

You do not have to live within the UK to qualify for the Championship entry method.

Distance Men Women
Full Marathon under 2:40:00 under 3:14:00
Half Marathon under 1:12:30 under 1:28:00

Qualifying times must have been run at a certified event during the previous calendar year.

If you meet these times, you are guaranteed a place on the start line.

Also, runners with a championship entry are required to wear their athletics club vest during the London Marathon.

3 – Ballot Entry

There are two ballots (lottery) entries – a U.K. resident ballot or an International (everybody else) ballot. These ballots open for approximately one week starting the night of the current year’s London Marathon, so don’t delay.

U.K. Ballot Entry

Are you a U.K. citizen? You’ll select this ballot. The odds are in your favor.

International Ballot Entry

If you live outside of the U.K., there is a separate “International Ballot” you can participate in. If you are selected out of the over 121,000 international entrants, you will receive notice around the first week of July.

This International lottery group consists of approximately 20,000 of the 58,000 runners who earn a ballot entry. Good luck!

4 – Run For a Charity

Similar to many of the largest marathons, the London Marathon allows entry when you raise money for their selected charity partners.

This is a very popular option, and there are typically more people than charity spots available. So check out all of the London Marathon charities, pick one that you’re passionate about, and sign up quickly.

Go here when you’re ready to secure a charity spot.

You’ll be responsible for raising a certain amount of money (often between £1,900 and £2,500) for the charity.

I love this option because you are doing great things for other people while also running!

5 – British Athletic Club Entry

Are you a member of a British Athletics-affiliated running club? These clubs are eligible for guaranteed entries to the London Marathon based on their number of registered first-claim members over the age of 18.

The amount of entries (maximum of 2) for each club depends on the amount of their first-claim members (a first-claim member is an individual affiliated solely with one registered club for a minimum duration of one year).

The total number of club-guaranteed entries for the London Marathon is capped at 1,515.

If you’re part of an eligible club and want to run, sign up quickly to secure your spot! Entries must be received by July.

6 – Enter Through an International Tour Organizer

This is kind of a VIP package where you purchase a package that includes a hotel, VIP treatment as a runner, and entry into many sold-out races including the Boston Marathon. 

A few companies are Sports Tours International and Marathon Tours. These companies provide accommodations and guaranteed entry into the race.

Here’s a full list that is country-specific:
https://www.tcslondonmarathon.com/enter/how-to-enter/international-entry/international-tour-operators

These packages sell out quickly so don’t wait!

7 – Disabled Runner Entry

London Marathon wheelchair participants

If you have a disability, the marathon provides various entry methods to ensure inclusivity.

You have to be over 18 years old on race day, and you have to complete the race by the official cut-off time.

Details can be found here.

8 – Be a Guide Or Support Runner

14 Ways to Qualify For the London Marathon

Guide and support runners have a critical role in the London Marathon, aiding disabled runners throughout the race. Read about the important role support runners play here.

There are a few different support runner options available, from helping push a wheelchair-bound athlete to guiding a blind runner.

Get more details here. You could make someone’s dream come true.

9 – Be a Pacer For the London Marathon

There are over 130 pacers for the marathon, and they run for free. You have to be part of the official pace team. The speedier of a runner you are probably gives you less competition, but don’t despair. The organization does a good job of having a very diverse and well-represented pace group.

Send an email to pacing@londonmarathonevents.co.uk to see if you can be part of the fun.

10 – Get an Entry From a Race Sponsor

Most race sponsors get some free entries as part of their sponsorship deal. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the title sponsor of the London Marathon, and New Balance is also a major sponsor.

As is the norm with other World Majors, these sponsors typically give their free entries to employees and friends.

Time to call up that friend of a friend you met once.

11 – Be a Previous Winner of the London Marathon

London Marathon qualifying times - Kipchoge does not need to be concerned with them

If you have won the London Marathon previously, you officially get a lifetime pass. Seriously, you’re good.

12 – Be a Member of the Media

Some media members have mentioned that they get an entry due to being in the media. I imagine that they are expected to report on their adventures so it’s a sort of “marketing” approach for the marathon.

If you think you qualify, reach out to the Race Director and let us know if you get in.

13 – Road to the Majors – Half Marathon Journey

Have you already completed 3, 4, or 5 of the World Marathon Majors?

The Global Run club has special virtual half marathon races you can complete to earn an entry into a special lottery to get into the London Marathon.

There are six virtual races, and they cost $45 each. They are in March, April, May, August, September, and October.

Get more information at https://app.abbottwmmglobalrunclub.com/en/challenges.

14 – Follow the London Marathon Social Media Account

The London Marathon has run contests in the past giving away free entries, usually via their social media accounts. Sponsors and enthusiastic fitness enthusiasts do the same and typically tag the London Marathon’s social media accounts.

London Marathon free entry social media post
London Marathon free entry social media post

So follow the London Marathon’s accounts (Facebook, Instagram) and be sure to check their accounts daily.

Summary

Regardless of how you get to the start line of the London Marathon, make sure you enjoy the journey in the largest marathon on the planet.

From the start in Greenwich Park to the finish line is like one giant party, so have fun with the other runners the entire race.

Please let us know if we missed any methods not listed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I enter the London Marathon 2025?

You can enter the London Marathon 2025 by applying for a Good For Age place or entering their ballot.

How can you qualify for the London Marathon?

To qualify for the London Marathon, you must run a qualifying time at an event with a certified marathon course, approved by organizations such as UKA or AIMS.

What are Good For Age (GFA) times?

Good For Age (GFA) times are marathon finishing times that allow faster amateur runners to apply for a special entry in the London Marathon.

How does the Championship entry to the London Marathon work?

To secure a Championship entry to the London Marathon, you must be a member of a British Athletics-affiliated running club, achieve a specified marathon qualifying performance, and be registered with your national governing body.

Can I qualify for a Good for Age place in the London Marathon by running the required time at the virtual event?

Yes, you can qualify for a Good for Age place in the London Marathon by running the required time at the virtual event, provided you also meet the specific qualifying standards for an ‘in-person’ half marathon within the same qualifying period.

This site contains product affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links at no cost to you.

Similar Posts