Runners to find out if they have a place in biggest London Marathon ever - and how to apply for the virtual event

The ballot results for this year’s marathon will be released online for the first time (Photo: Getty Images)

Thousands of runners will find out on Monday (8 February) if they have secured a place for this year’s biggest ever London Marathon.

Fifty thousand people are expected to take part in the event on 3 October, while those who miss out in the ballot will have the chance to sign up for one of a further 50,000 places in the virtual event on the same day.

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People can also apply for a charity place for what is set to to be the biggest marathon event yet.

Results released online

The ballot results for this year’s marathon will be released online for the first time, rather than by post, as the event continues its efforts to become more sustainable.

Event director Hugh Brasher said: “We know there will be many people celebrating today but we also know there will be many more who, unfortunately, were unsuccessful in the ballot.

“However, this is the best chance yet to be part of the Virgin Money London Marathon because 2021 is set to be the biggest marathon in the world.

“Unsuccessful runners can sign up to run for a charity or for our virtual Virgin Money London Marathon, which promises to be another amazing day in our history.”

The virtual event allows participants to earn the same medal and T-shirt by completing 26.2 miles on 3 October on a route of their choice within the 24-hour window.

How to apply

Those who were unsuccessful in the ballot will have a priority eight-day window to book a place in the virtual marathon, from 9 to 16 February.

Any remaining places will then be made available to the general public from 16 February, with these to be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are keen to enter the virtual event, visit virginmoneylondonmarathon.com.

Raising ‘vital funds’

The event’s charity of the year Macmillan Cancer Support is hoping runners and supporters will help it to raise “vital funds” so it can recover from the “devastating impact” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Claire Rowney, the charity’s executive director for fundraising, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our income, at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever to help navigate through this anxious period.

“The vital funds raised through runners and supporters of this year’s event will help us continue to do whatever it takes to be there for everyone living with cancer.”

Team Macmillan will include Chris Rose whose wife Angela died in February 2019 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

It had been a dream of Angela’s to take part and he ran the London Marathon weeks later with some of her ashes in a wristband so they could cross the finish line together.

Mr Rose, 40, from Rendlesham, near Ipswich, said taking part was “one of the craziest and most emotional things I’ve ever done”.

“Being part of #TeamMacmillan and getting to wear that green top means a lot to so many people and you can’t help feeling like you’re all in it together,” he said.

“I honestly can’t recommend the experience enough, and I’m already raring to get training for this year’s marathon.”

Research for Macmillan found around one in seven people (14 per cent) said running had helped them to destress since the first lockdown in March 2020, with a third saying outdoor exercise made them feel calmer (34 per cent) and more positive (33 per cent). One in five people (21 per cent) said it made them feel mentally stronger.

But the survey of more than 2,000 people found nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of people were not taking the time to prioritise their well-being during the current lockdown, a third (35 per cent) were finding it harder to exercise outdoors due to cold weather and shorter days, and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) said they lacked motivation without aiming for an event or challenge.

To run the London Marathon for Macmillan, visit londonmarathon.macmillan.org.uk.