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Eight Ways to Get into the London Marathon

The public ballot results for the prestigious London Marathon, often considered one of the hardest events to secure a spot in, were unveiled earlier this month. With marathon fever gaining momentum worldwide, this year saw an unprecedented number of entrants for the London Marathon—one of the World Major Marathons. A record-breaking 578,374 applications were received, setting a global milestone. Overseas applications alone exceeded 120,000, making it an extremely sought-after ticket. The number of spots available through the public ballot has always been limited. Many runners dreaming of completing the "Six Major Marathons" find the London Marathon elusive, even after several years of trying. In this inaugural issue of THE HARBOUR, we'll share eight methods to possibly experience the London Marathon:


1. Public Ballot


The public ballot is the most participated and, arguably, the toughest route to secure a spot. As mentioned earlier, this year’s applications broke all past records. Annually, about 17,000 lucky participants secure their London Marathon entry via this method. For the 2024 London Marathon, a new approach has been introduced: those who agree to donate their entry fee to the London Marathon Foundation will automatically be entered into a second round of the draw, effectively doubling their chances!


2. Charity Places


The London Marathon is among the most charitable events worldwide. In 2023, it raised over £60 million in a single day for various charities. Each year, around 15,000 charity places are allotted to different charitable organizations. Each organization sets a minimum fundraising amount for their marathon spots, typically around £2,000. While this may sound steep, due to the event's exclusivity, many are willing to pay this "premium" to achieve their Six Major Marathons dream. However, a monetary donation alone might not secure a spot. Many charities require applicants to detail their running philosophy or reasons for wanting to participate. So, money alone might not suffice.


3. Race Wins


Certain domestic UK races offer a London Marathon spot as an incentive. Win these races, and you're in. To find these races, keep an eye on running magazines or marathon sponsor advertisements.


4. Via Abbot World Major Marathons Ballot:


To help runners achieve their "Six Major Marathons" dream sooner, from November 2022, Abbot allocated about 500 London Marathon spots for those who've completed three, four, or five of the major marathons. Eligible participants must create an Abbot account and register for the ballot on their official website.


5. Run Fast: Good For Age Places (UK residents only):


The London Marathon allots approximately 6,000 spots for the "Good For Age (GFA)" category, split evenly between male and female runners. Qualifying times differ by age group, and meeting the GFA time doesn’t guarantee a spot. Applicants are ranked by age and time, and those who narrowly miss the standard (by less than 10 minutes) are encouraged to also enter the public ballot to increase their chances. GFA registration opens every August. Further details are available on their official website.


6. Run Even Faster: Championship Places (UK residents only):

This is reserved for UK-based runners who are members of UK Athletics-affiliated clubs and meet certain standards. Applications are typically accepted from November to January, with qualifying times achieved from January 1st to December 31st of the previous year. The qualifying times for the 2023 London Marathon were:


Full Marathon

Men: Sub 2:40:00

Women: Sub 3:14:00


Half Marathon

Men: Sub 1:12:30

Women: Sub 1:28:00


7. Run Super Fast: Elite Places:


This is exclusively for world-class runners who can complete a marathon in under 2:18:00 for men and 2:38:00 for women. Meeting this standard could secure one of the limited 100 Elite spots!


8. UK Running Club Spots (local residents only):


Lastly, spots are allocated through the UK Athletics-affiliated clubs for their members. Annually, about 1,000 marathon spots are distributed among these clubs, exclusive to local residents. Each club determines how to allocate their marathon slots. Harbour Athletic Club (HAC), as one of the England Athletics affiliated clubs, offers its members a chance to secure a London Marathon spot. We encourage everyone to support and consider becoming a member of HAC. Membership details can be found on the HAC website.



跑入倫敦馬拉松的八個方法


被譽為地表最難中籤的倫敦馬拉松公眾抽籤結果已在本月初揭盅。隨著馬拉松風氣在世界越趨盛行,貴為世界六大馬之一的倫敦馬拉松,今屆循公眾抽籤報名的人數便創下世界紀錄,總共有 578,374份申請,單單是海外抽籤人數超過 12 萬,可說是一票難求。倫敦馬拉松給予公眾抽籤報名的名額本來就不多,很多追尋「六大馬」夢的跑手抽籤多年仍未能如願,抽中「倫馬」成為都市傳說。今次 THE HARBOUR 創刊號同大家分享八個可以一嘗跑上倫馬賽道的方法:


1. 公眾抽籤


公眾抽籤是最多人參與亦是最難中獎的方法,每年只有約 17,000 個幸運兒能循抽籤方法獲得倫敦馬拉松的門劵。而2024 年的倫敦馬拉松推出了一個新玩法,凡同意將參加費用捐贈予 London Marathon Foundation 者能自動進入第二輪抽籤,將中籤的機會增加一倍!


2. 慈善位置

倫敦馬拉松作是世界上籌款最多的慈善活動之一,於 2023 年倫敦馬拉松便單日籌了超過六千萬英鎊的款項予慈善團體。每年約有 15,000 個慈善位置分配予大小不同的慈善團體,而每個慈善團體均會為他們手上的倫馬位置設下最低籌款金額,約為 2,000 英鎊。即使捐款數字不少,但因為倫馬的確太難抽,所以為完成六大馬而「課金」的跑手亦不計其數。不要以為只要出錢就能夠得到倫馬一席之位,很多慈善團體都需要參加者填寫表格,詳述自己跑步的理念或要跑倫敦馬拉松的原因,所以單是金錢亦未必能完夢。

3. 比賽


有部分在英國本土的比賽以倫敦馬拉松的位置作招徠,只要贏得這些比賽就能獲取門票。不過跑手需要自己時刻留意跑步雜誌或馬拉松贊助商的廣告通知。

4. 經由 Abbot World Major Marathons 的抽籤名額


為助跑手早日完成「世界六大馬」的心願,自從 2022 年 11 月起,Abbot 便將約 500 個倫敦馬拉松的名額供已經完成三、四或五個六大馬的選手報名抽籤。所有合資格的參加者均需建立自己的 Abbot 帳戶及個人資料,並經由他們的官方網頁報名抽籤。

5. 跑得夠快:Good For Age Places (只限英國居民)


倫敦馬拉松將大約 6,000 個位置分配予「Good For Ages (GFA)」組別,平均分配給男及女跑手,惟只限予英國本土居民。而 GFA 每個年齡組別的合資格時間均不同,而達到 GFA 的時間亦並不代表一定能獲得一席,將會按年齡及時間排列,給予每個組別最快的報名者,倫馬建議達標時間低於最低標準不足 10 分鐘者,同時報名公眾抽籤以增加機會,可見競爭之激烈。GFA 報名於每年八月開放,詳情可於此參考官方網頁


6. 跑得更快:Championship Places(只限英國居民)


只有現居於英國而且是英國田徑屬會旗下的會員,並且達到一定成績方能得到 Championship Places 。每年約 11 月至 1 月接受申請,而達標的賽事必須由在一年前的 1 月1 日至 12 月31 日內達成。以下是 2023 年倫敦馬拉松 Championship Qualifying Time 的達標時間:


全程馬拉松

男子:Sub 2:40:00

女子:Sub 3:14:00


半程馬拉松

男子:Sub 1:12:30

女子:Sub 1:28:00

7. 跑得超快:Elite Places


另外一個方法就僅限於跑得超快的世界級跑手,「超快」的定義是指男子 2:18:00 、女子 2:38:00 樓下完成全馬的世界級高手。只要達到這個標準,便能夠爭取 100 個以下的 Elite 名額!

8. 英國跑會屬會位置(只限當地居民)


最後,便是經由英國田徑總會(England Athletics)屬會分配給他們會員的倫敦馬拉松配額。每年約有 1,000 個倫馬位置分配英國田徑屬會,僅限英國當地居民報名參加,每個跑會均可以自行決定如何分配他們手頭上的馬拉松配額。Harbour Athletic Club (HAC) 作為 England Athletics 的屬會之一,我們的會員亦同樣有機會獲得倫敦馬拉松入場劵!歡迎大家踴躍支持成為 HAC 的其中一員,可於此參閱 HAC 的會員報名詳情。


文:n.t.





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