Express & Star

Ballot for 2023 London Marathon places to open ahead of Sunday’s event

Ballot places are drawn at random so everyone who applies has exactly the same chance of being successful.

London Marathon runners

The ballot for the 2023 London Marathon will open on Saturday as runners make their last-minute preparations for this year’s event.

Hopefuls have just one week to complete their application for a place to run the 26.2 miles of the world famous central London event, which will be held on April 23 next year.

Thousands of people hope they will be lucky enough to get a place each year but the event is so popular that many are left disappointed.

Entrants include everyone from experienced marathon runners keen to compete in London to people who enter on a whim after being inspired by those taking part.

The ballot is free to enter and closes on Friday October 7.

Runners are likely to find out within a few weeks if they have a place so they have plenty of time to train before the event returns to spring in 2023 after coronavirus disruption saw it moved to October from 2020.

London Marathon Elite Men’s Photocall – Tower Hotel
Hugh Brasher said the ballot is the fairest way of allocating places (PA)

Event director Hugh Brasher told the PA news agency the ballot turnaround is likely to be the shortest ever but reassured successful applicants: “You have got the same amount of time to train.”

The ballot always leaves some people surprised to have got a place at their first attempt while others are left disappointed again and again.

Mr Brasher said: “The fairest way you can do it is by making it a lottery and everyone has the same chance of getting in. It’s no different from the National Lottery. Every time you do it, you have the same chance of winning.

“I was speaking to someone who entered eight times and got in on his ninth and he was delighted.

“You can’t please everybody but you can try to be fair and that’s what we do with the ballot.”

Successful UK participants are charged £49.99 for their place while international participants pay £120, plus a £26 carbon offset levy.

There are other ways of getting a London Marathon place other than the ballot – through a charity, a running club or as a good for age runner.

The British Heart Foundation is the event’s charity of the year for 2022 but there has not yet been an announcement about the charity chosen for the 2023 event.

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