Entering marathons abroad

I recently completed my first marathon in Chester (great race with superb organisation in case anyone is wondering) and now I know I can complete the distance, I’d love to enter some of the many marathons held in foreign parts.  I'm already aware of the main races with good reviews from people's posts on here, Trekandrun.com and Runners World articles but my question is: Do the main race organisers reserve additional spaces for entries from abroad, or do you always need to enter the main ballot or enter before entries sell out?

On a similar (but related) strand of thought: Do people from overseas receive a separate allocation of London Marathon places on top of the usual UK ballot entry places?


  • Congrats on your first marathon - its a slippery slope from here!

    Yes and Yes! You can enter through the respective ballot system for most races -although remember not all sell out, so you can just enter!

    Some of the bigger marathons - like Berlin and New York - have international partnership deals where they reserve a set number of entrants for international runners. But these are 'administered' by a couple of tour companies, like 2:09 Events and Sports Tour International - who effectively sell them with flights and hotels. Its expensive way to enter but at least you get a place - and your hand held when you're there!

    I think London dopes something similar, but not 100% sure

    Enjoy the next one!

  • The majority of overseas marathons are just first come, first served.

    You will be able to enter most if you do so promptly when entries open.  Paris does sell out, but enter early and you'll be OK, plus the price goes up the longer you leave it to enter!


  • Thanks Rafiki - I thought 5k races were addictive when I first started running a year ago - I never imagined I'd complete my first mara and look forward to running more of them!  I forgot all about 2:09 events - I'll have to look them up in a bit.

    Thanks Wilkie - that is good advice.  I'm in for Brighton next year but will definitely look into setting up some races for later in the year well in advance.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    For most races I enter abroad - they dont really care if you're foreign - just pay your money and turn up.

    I know that London has their own allocation of running spots of overseas people. They also have their own area to go to after the race

  • Considering 10k and half marathon distances outside the UK ... Can anyone recommend a good site to search for such events? Like RW's event search, but not limited to UK?

  • I've found that entering European marathons is hard work, it took three months from payment to get my place for Rome confirmed you'll need either a recognised athletics membership or a Doctor's medical cert to get in.

  • http://marathons.ahotu.com/ - really good searchable site for all kinds of distances around the world AND the UK.

  • @sevendaughters - thanks ... looking now.

    By the way I hope sevendaughters is some kind of nickname rather than being literal ... I have twodaughters and can't imagine having that many more!

  • http://www.marathonguide.com/

    Not the best looking site but the reviews of the races are very helpful if you want to get an idea of how a certain race is.

    As far as I know there are only three marathons in the world that are not first come, first served: New York, Boston and London (not sure about Tokyo). Some fill up fast, like Berlin this year (3 hours), but if you hang on when they open the registration you´ll get a spot.


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