London Marathon 2024: Prize money, is Eilish McColgan running, start time, route, history, and how to watch

The streets of the UK Capital will be filled with runners later this month for one of the biggest events in the British sporting calendar.
Runners reach the finish of the 2023 London Marathon.Runners reach the finish of the 2023 London Marathon.
Runners reach the finish of the 2023 London Marathon.

This year’s race will be the 44th running of event, which returned to its usual spring weekend in 2023 after being moved to the autumn for three years due to the global pandemic.

Around 40,000 amateur runners will take part, raising millions of pounds for charity, while some of the world’s finest athletes will compete for the elite titles.

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More than 410,000 prospective competitors entered the ballot to run, making it one of the most over-subscribed mass participation events in the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 edition.

When is the 2024 London Marathon?

The 2024 London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 21.

Can I watch the London Marathon on television?

The BBC will broadcast live uninterrupted coverage of the whole race, starting on BBC One, the BBC iPlayer and online at 8.30am.

What is the course for the London Marathon?

The 42.195 kilometre course starts in Blackheath and visits the 19th-century clipper Cutty Sark docked in Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Tower Hill, the Thames Embankment past Westminster, Birdcage Walk, past St James's Park before turning onto The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace.

Is Eilish McColgan running?

Scot Eilish McColgan, the daughter of 1996 London Marathon winner Liz McColgan, was expected to make her debut at last year’s race following a gold medal at the the 10,000 metres at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

But she has now pulled out due to a knee injury, which she’s still recovering from and now has her eye on a place at the Paris Olympics in the summer.

Speaking to Athletics Weekly last week she said: “I’m most likely looking at something in six-eight weeks as my first race. It’s not going to be a record breaking attempt or anything like that. It’s literally going to be a showing that you are fit, showing that you are on form and then trying to move towards trying to get to that 10km qualifying time 30:40. If I can get down to 31 minutes at some point by the end of June that would be ideal and it would give me the best chance of selection. Maybe in the six to eight weeks we will try and find a road race to start myself off and then into the track season.”

So, it’ll still be a wee bit of time before we see McColgan competing again.

What is the prize money at the 2024 London Marathon?

There is a total of $313,000 up for grabs, with the men's and women's winners getting $55,000 (£43,000) each and cash prizes for the top 10 finishers.

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In the wheelchair races the prize pot has increased by $54,000 in 2024, meaning for the first time the winners will get the same prize as the able-bodied champions - $55,000.

What do amateur runners get for finishing the course?

Everybody crossing the line will receive a finisher's medal, a New Balance finisher's T-shirt, some drinks and a snack to aid their recovery.

What is the history of the London Marathon?

The London Marathon was founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981 and is the second largest annual road race in the UK, after the Great North Run in Newcastle. Hugh Brasher, the son of founder Chris, is the current Race Director.

Elite races were added in 2006, becoming part of the World Marathon Majors which includes six of the world's top level marathon races. Several marathon records have been broken in London, with Khalid Khannouchi breaking the men's world record in 2002, while Grete Waitz (1983), Ingrid Kristiansen (1985), Paula Radcliffe (2002, 2003, 2005) and Mary Jepkosgei Keitany (2017) have all posted world record times in the race.

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