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Virgin Money London Marathon

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Event summary

Take up the challenge of this truly global event. Runners will not go a single mile without feeling the rush of music and cheering supporters spurring them on.

Looks like tickets for this event aren’t available, here are some similar events you can book today:
Looks like tickets for this event aren’t available, here are some similar events you can book today:
Your organiser

The team behind the Virgin Money London Marathon also organises a whole host of other great events including Prudential RideLondon, The Vitality London 10,000 & Westminster Mile, Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine and our newest event, The Vitality Big Half.

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We’re always looking for volunteers to help make these events epic.
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How to enter

What's included:

  • Finisher's Medal
  • T-Shirt
  • Goody Bag
  • Marshalled Course
  • Water Stations
  • Aid Stations
  • Freebies at the ExCel centre
  • Life Long Memories
London Marathon
10:00am Sun 3rd Oct 2021

Run 26.2mi

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What people think
4.9
48 reviews
CrowdsIncredible crowds
BigMedalAmazing medal
FestivalFestival vibes
Jennifer
Star
5.0
Did the London Marathon in 2017
One of the six marathon majors, the most over subscribed and popular event on the planet, incredible crowds, unique atmosphere, an opportunity to run this event is an opportunity not to be missed.… read more
Becky
Star
5.0
Did the London Marathon in 2019
Simply AMAZING!!! The organisation was spot on, bag drop was a breeze, lots of toilets, the waves were easy to navigate. Potentially the best day. Ever! … read more
Ed H-M
Star
5.0
Did the London Marathon in 2019
An amazing atmosphere along the whole route added to an amazing well organised day. Great pre and post race experience also… read more
Frequently asked questions
FAQ
How do I enter the London Marathon?
The majority of runners apply for the London Marathon by entering the ballot, with a 4% chance of getting in. If you don't get in through the ballot, you can run for a charity, for which there are about 15,000 places. You can also get a good-for-age place, details of which can be found here: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/good-age-entry/faqs/… read more
FAQ
At what time does the London Marathon start?
The mass start of the London Marathon starts at 10:10 am on race morning… read more
FAQ
What is the cut-off time for the London Marathon?
The cut-off time for the London Marathon is 7 hours. You can continue running after this time, but you will have to run on the pavement, as roads will reopen, and you will not receive a finisher's medal.… read more
Running Events in the United Kingdom
Running Events in the United Kingdom
Route description
Route description

The London Marathon course is one of the most iconic routes in running. Winding its way through the heart of the capital, with crowds lining the side of the route at every step, the course has barely changed since the race was first held in 1981.

The course begins starts in leafy Blackheath, heads east through Charlton and Woolwich for three miles, turns west and passes the Cutty Sark in Greenwich after six to seven miles.

It crosses the River Thames at Tower Bridge and then loops around London, right past the Shard. Continuing along past the 12th mile markers, runners will be taken past Canary Wharf and the London Eye.

Runners will finish in a blaze of glory along London's most iconic landmarks, Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

4.9
48 reviews
CrowdsIncredible crowds
BigMedalAmazing medal
FestivalFestival vibes
Rate this event
Logistics and schedule

There are three Start Areas at the Virgin Money London Marathon – Red, Blue, and Green – and the colour of your running number indicates your Start Area. Each Start Area has eight zones – numbered 1 to 8 - and you will be informed of your Start Zone when you register at Expo.

The zone you have been allocated to is based on your predicted finish time when you entered. Please note: You cannot change your Start Area or move to an earlier Start Zone. However, if you think your predicted finish time is now too fast, you will be allowed to join a later Start Zone.

To make sure the start of your race goes smoothly, you just need to do the following:

  • Go to your correct Start Area
  • Drop off the kitbag you have been provided
  • Join your correct Start Zone
  • Follow the instructions of the marshals

Kitbags and baggage lorries

The PA systems at each start area will tell you when to put your kitbag onto the appropriate baggage vehicle in the start area.

You should hand your bag in at the lorry with the number range which corresponds to your running number. Staff on the lorries will only accept official Virgin Money London Marathon kitbags, so please ensure you have stuck your self-adhesive running number label to the kitbag where indicated.

You will then be able to retrieve your kitbag from the baggage lorries after you finish. Once you have deposited your kitbag on the lorry, you will not be able to retrieve your belongings until you arrive at the finish.

Spectators

Getting around

With all roads closed (visit our road closures page for more details), the only way to get around is by public transport. London Underground, London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) lay on extra services on Race Day, and this is by far the best way to get around.

Before setting off, you need to prepare – spectating isn’t quite as tough as marathon training but it still needs some thought:

Travel light – you will be standing for hours on end, so keep your belongings to a minimum and try and leave as many valuables as you can at home.

Comfortable clothes (especially shoes) are a must. You should be prepared for a typical April day in London – sun, showers and wind.

It’s busy! If you are a regular commuter, think rush hour. If not, think what it’s like when you attend a concert or festival. You will often have to queue and some stations may be forced to shut temporarily while staff clear the crowds.

Expect to do lots of walking, including stairs and escalators – you should think carefully before bringing young children; pushchairs can also be troublesome.

Places to avoid

If you want to follow your loved ones and try to get a glimpse of them as they pass, it is suggested that you avoid very crowded areas, where it can be difficult to find a viewing spot, hard to move around and tough to get in and out.

Busy areas include Greenwich town centre and the Cutty Sark. While the ship is undoubtedly a beautiful backdrop for the race, the crowds that are attracted here can make spectating uncomfortable and transport in and around Greenwich becomes particularly busy.

Tower Bridge is always extremely busy, as is anywhere from mile 24 to the finish in The Mall. Obviously many of you will eventually end up in this area later on in the day as you head to the runner meet and greet area in Horse Guards Road.

Runner meet and greet area

It can be very busy, so please take note of the following advice. There will be meeting points in Horse Guards Road and Horse Guards Parade with areas marked by letters of the alphabet – meet at your family initial or at another pre-arranged letter.

Please meet your runner at one of these meeting points. DO NOT congregate around the exit from the secure area at the top of Horse Guards Road. This causes massive congestion for exiting runners as well as other health and safety issues for the large numbers of people in this area. Both the Police and our security personnel are under strict instructions not to allow people to congregate here and to move them along.

Heavy mobile phone traffic on all networks means you may find it difficult to get a signal in and around the finish area. Therefore, do not rely on mobile phones but plan where to meet in advance.

Runners are more likely to run slower than their predicted time. After crossing the Finish Line it will take a minimum of 15 minutes and closer to 30-40 minutes to reach the runner meet and greet area. Remember to build these factors into your arrangements when planning to meet your runner.

And finally...

Make sure you have the details of your runner’s race number. It is the easiest way for the organiser's information point to identify them on the database.

How to get there

Great Cross Ave, Greenwich, London SE10 8QY, UK

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By Train

The easiest way to get to the three start areas (Blue Start, Red Start and Green Start) is to travel by train.

Blue Start or Good For Age runners should travel to Blackheath station.

Red Start runners should travel to either Greenwich station or Maze Hill station.

Green Start runners should travel to Maze Hill station.

Travel on all of the above trains is free to competitors. You must present your running number to a member of staff at the station in order to take advantage of this offer. To begin planning your journey by train before you receive your Final Instructions magazine, please visit Southeastern, National Rail or Transport for London.

By Car

Competitors are advised not to to travel by car, but if there is no other alternative you should remember the following:

Roads in the area will close at 07:00, with local diversions in operation in the Greenwich, Charlton and Deptford areas. There is limited parking available in Blackheath

If you intend to leave your car at the start, you will need to retrieve it after the event once you have reached the finish in The Mall. There is NO parking in the vicinity of the finish.

What happens at the finish line:

After you have collected your belongings, you should move away from the baggage lorry area as quickly as possible. Please leave the secure area via the designated exit point only.

There is a runner meet and greet area where you will be able to meet your friends and family at one of the meeting points on The Mall and in Horse Guards Roads and Horse Guards Parade. These meeting points will be marked with letters of the alphabet, so you can arrange to meet at your family initial or another pre-arranged letter.

International runners have their own dedicated meet and greet area in The Mall, close to Admiralty Arch.

Frequently asked questions
FAQ
How do I enter the London Marathon?
The majority of runners apply for the London Marathon by entering the ballot, with a 4% chance of getting in. If you don't get in through the ballot, you can run for a charity, for which there are about 15,000 places. You can also get a good-for-age place, details of which can be found here: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/how-to-enter/good-age-entry/faqs/
FAQ
At what time does the London Marathon start?
The mass start of the London Marathon starts at 10:10 am on race morning
FAQ
What is the cut-off time for the London Marathon?
The cut-off time for the London Marathon is 7 hours. You can continue running after this time, but you will have to run on the pavement, as roads will reopen, and you will not receive a finisher's medal.
FAQ
Where can I find results for the London Marathon?
Results for the London Marathon can be found here https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/event-info/race-results/
Booking related questionsDo you have a question about bookings, cancellations, or refunds?
London Marathon
10:00am Sun 3rd Oct 2021

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