About Marathons in London
The famous marathon distance (26.2 miles) is loved but participants and spectators alike. People run marathons for many different reasons, either for a loved one, for a personal goal or for a great cause. In fact, the London Marathon has raised over £770 million for charity since it began in 1981, and in 2016, Shannon Foudy, became the one millionth runner to complete it.
What are the best marathons?
The London Marathon, which last year produced a record 40,000+ finishers and over 800,000 spectators flooded the streets to cheer them on. If you're thinking of running a marathon, London is not only the most popular but also one of the flattest around, so it's a great place to push for a PB. But, it is balloted and you can expect stiff competition for places. If you do miss out on a place, there are still many other great races right here in London. The Richmond Marathon, part of the RunFest, has a comparatively tiny field (around 400 entries) but follows an especially pretty route through Kew Gardens. If you need something a little more low key, Hermes Running do the Thames Meander Marathon & Half in spring, summer and winter.
How long will it take me to run a marathon?
The average time for London Marathon finishers in 2018 was 3h48m for males and 4h23m for females. Both these times are about 20 minutes faster than the global average. Top tip, don't worry about what others are doing, or who overtakes you, stick to your game plan and enjoy the ride.
If you're interested in knowing how fast you can really go in London, the world record for women was set in London by our very own Paula Radcliffe in 2003 at 2h15m and is still proving tough to beat. The men's record was beaten in Berlin in 2018 by Eliud Kipchoge and at 2:01:39 is pushing close to breaking the elusive 2 hour barrier.
How do you train for a marathon?
You definitely need to invest in some training for a marathon, so check out our training plan, with nutrition and race tips included. Training for a marathon takes time and dedication. We recommend starting 16 weeks prior to race day, regardless of whether you are entering your first race or looking to hit a new PB.