London Marathon 2013 - charity & ballot places?

Hi All

To all those who have run the London marathon before or hope fully will be next year please could you give me some advice.

I managed to get my entry in to the ballot this year and would like to start applying to charities in case i dont get a ballot place.

How many charities should you apply for? a couple? lots? Obviously i have a few in mind which i would like to run for.

Also i know you pledge a certain amount which i hope to achieve but what actually happens if for some reson you dont get the full amount??

 Any info would be great!


  • Hi don't quote me because I have never actually done London so this may be wrong but as far as I know most of the charities also run a ballot system as they too have too many applicants per place so u can apply to as many as you want. If you're successful with more than one charity you can chose which one you want to go with as your place is not confirmed until you pay them your entry fee. If you get a charity place then you have to raise that amount because otherwise the charity is losing out on money it could have otherwise got. I don't know what the legal clauses are but I believe if u don't raise it they like u to pay the rest maybe by standing order. Anyway that's how I think it works someone else can correct me if I'm wrong. U could look at other marathons that don't have such a high charity minimum limit. If u get charity place and ballot place u can turn charity down for ballot but think they all let u know about the same time of year
  • hi

    i asked the same question on another site like said above enter with the charitys you want and build up a rapour with them and tell them what you sort of money raising you have in mind.

    i have my self expressed interest to 4 - 5 charitys and a few of them will be deciding who they want to run before october before the the ballot is announced so it is worth getting in touch with them to give you plenty of time to raise your money you pledge.

  • Without wishing to put you off any of the smaller charities, or in any way criticise their operation, the big one's do look after you well at the end with a nice massage, drinks, food etc. After running a marathon that really is a very welcome end to your fundraising efforts and the run itself.  It would be great and fair if somehow all the charities could offer the same facilities no matter what their size. They are all doing a fantastic job.
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    Don't forget that the more charities offer to the runner as 'perks' (reception, massage etc), the less money actually goes to the good cause.
  • agree with slugsta....the perks may be welcome but surely the whole idea is to raise money for a charity who you feel needs the money.......

    If you have any doubts of raising the money.... make sure you have enough money to make up any shortfalls........

    whilst if you do not make the total it is unlikely that they will take you to court to get it me it is immoral not to make up the shortfall with your own money......

    by you taking the charity place you are preventing someone else from having it and raising the required if you do not make up the money you are basically taking the money straight from those people the charity supports......
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    If I was genuine about wanting to raise money for a charity that meant something to me, as opposed to reluctantly entering into the fund-raising spirit in order to bag a London Marathon place, I think the last thing I would be thinking about is how many frills they add to my day after the race.

    I was lucky enough to get a ballot place for my first FLM application, but volunteered to raise funds for Cancer Research, even though I didn't actually get through their own ballot system.  OK, I got a nice massage, shower, cuppa tea and a sandwich out of them afterwards but I think the £3,000-odd I raised for them (and the race itself) meant a lot more to me.

    If I hadn't got through on the ballot I would have ended up raising money for the British Heart Foundation, whose minimum target was £1,600 - a fair bit less than Cancer Research were asking for even if they had accepted me.  If you've got a few smaller charities in mind you'd probably only have to enquire with two or three before making your mind up I would've thought.  And you'll find it easier to get money out of people you know if they believe you're genuine rather than "I'm running the marathon so I have to raise some money for charidee, here's my justgiving page..."

  • I wasn't successful in the ballot last year and secured a Golden Bond place with the charity VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action).  I primarily chose them as they wanted a lower sponsorship amount than most other charities (£1,200 sponsorship and £100 from me to 'pay' for my place).  I also have a loose connection in that I work with disabled children.

    If I were to go with a charity that was closer to my heart then I would have gone with either an asthma charity (I have asthma) or a cancer charity (mother in law recently survived breast cancer).  If I went with either of them then the sponsorship required was alot higher and at an amount I think was out of my reach as I don't actually know THAT many people to ask for sponsorship, attend fundraising events etc.

    Going with VICTA meant I knew I would be able to raise the amount required even if it meant baking a million cakes to sell!!!  I actually raised £1,428.00 which I am extremely proud of as it was through sheer hard work.

    VICTA themselves were absolutely fantastic and I would love to run for them again. I received weekly support e-mails, telephone contact, excellent fundraising materials (all online to keep their costs down) and even a super reception at the Reform Club afterwards, which came with a welcome massage.

    I applied to them online, stating exactly how I proposed to raise the sponsorship and why I wanted to run for them and received a reply the following day.  Log on to their website and check them out.  The contact there is Julie Ring who must be the most patient lady ever!!  Good Luck!

  • Many thanks for all the responses.

    I think ill have to choose my charities carefully, i am a bit daunted by the large pledges that they are asking for but i think  (and hope and pray etc) that i can achieve it.

    There are others that i could run for with lower pledges but i dont think i should run for them becasue i dont really have a proper reason to run for them, meaning i dont think i would be selected.  Where as a cancer charity is most applicable for me but they all have a £2000 pledge!

    Liz EE  thats great that you raised so much! ill check the charity, if i get a ballot placing perhaps ill make contact.

    Some thinking to be done here .......image

     APART from that has everyone enjoyed running the london marathon so far?? any funny  or inspirational stories from the day?

  • I have run London twice on Golden bond places and once through a club place.

    The fundraising can be quite stressful knowing that you have to raise a certain amount and fitting that all in around your training but if you are passionate about the cause it is slightly easier, but I have exceeded the amount on both occasions without a problem but did numerous events like charity auctions etc.

    This year was with a club place but chose to run for Crohns and colitis with a friend who was also running who is a sufferer. we set up a justgiving page and without much effort at all the total was £1006..... with no fundraising events just the page. People are so generous.
  • need for speed wrote (see)
    Without wishing to put you off any of the smaller charities, or in any way criticise their operation, the big one's do look after you well at the end with a nice massage, drinks, food etc. After running a marathon that really is a very welcome end to your fundraising efforts and the run itself.  It would be great and fair if somehow all the charities could offer the same facilities no matter what their size. They are all doing a fantastic job.

    As others have said - all those extras mean less money going to the people/cause who really need it.

    Most charities will expect runners to make up any shortfall on their pledges.  Check the terms of any documentation you sign, and be prepared to abide by it.

  • I've done London twice through a Golden Bond place. The first time was the year after I'd been diagnosed with breast cancer and I ran for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I found it really easy to raise money that time.

    The second time was much harder even though I also chose to run for a breast cancer charity and this year I ran under a ballot place whilst still raising some money for Breakthrough. I asked as much as I felt comfortable with, I didn't do any events and I didn't push as much as I would've raised had I had a minimum to hit but I still managed about £500.

  • ran london twice to say hated it the first time.this year it was ok and I decided not to try and race it.......just treat it as along slow run and take my time.....didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as my other marathons.......there are just so many people running it's a nightmare...
  • I run the L''don marathon this year, via a small charity which might not have offered any showers, massage, or sandwiches at the end (they were not able to send anyone to "support" us runners.... it did not make any difference, on the contrary knowing that every single penny I have raised would not be wasted in "corporate hospitality" makes a differene. I know a few people who run for major charities and had the full silver service on offer.... and that makes me think how much of the money raised actually goes to "charitable" work...

  • Here at the Rose Road Association we still have places left for the Virgin London Marathon 2013!

    The Rose Road Association has been working with children, young people and their families from across Hampshire and the surrounding counties since 1952. The children who attend Rose Road have multiple and complex health needs but we believe in valuing individuals, celebrating achievement and respecting choices of young people with disabilities

    We have golden bond places in next year’s Marathon which we are currently taking applications for. There is a minimum sponsorship of £1,500 per place, however Rose Road will be on hand to guide you through your journey and support you with your fundraising, training and preparation. All of our runners receive a fundraising pack, running vest & hoodie, support on the day and hospitality after the race.

    Please contact us on 02380 721202 or email

  • Hi there, the Charity Neurosupport has two places available for this years 2013 London Marathon.

    Neurosupport is a small national charity based in Liverpool which offers non-medical advice and support to people with neurological conditions (including brain and spinal injuries) and the families, friends and carers who support them.

    Although this is the only charity of this type in the UK, it's not a big charity and every penny we raise goes directly into supporting the people who need it. Whilst we can't offer any of the hospitatlity of the bigger charities, we will obviously provide help with fundraising, trainig and preparation, as well as a Neurosupport running vest. We are asking all runners to raise a minimum £1,000 sponsorship.

    If you feel you would like to run on behalf of our charity please contact Alec on 01512983283 or email

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