What we're changing to make the 2022 TCS London Marathon the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world
On Sunday 2 October, a record number of people will take part in the 2022 TCS London Marathon, while thousands more around the world will be participating in our virtual event.
At some point during Marathon Day, my mind will drift back to our very first London Marathon in 1981 and I’ll reflect on how far we’ve come and how much has changed.
When my father Chris Brasher and his friend John Disley conceived the idea of the London Marathon, not in their wildest dreams did they imagine what it would go on to achieve: that it would raise more than £1 billion for charity, that more than a million people would have taken part, or that tens of thousands of people would be able to run a virtual London Marathon anywhere on the globe.
They would also not have foreseen the change in participation. Back in 1981, about five per cent of the 7,055 starters were women and the majority of the field was skinny, middle-aged white men.
The 2022 TCS London Marathon will be very different. We will have nearly as many women taking part as men. We will have people of all backgrounds, abilities, disabilities and ages taking part. For the last two years we have proudly focused our campaign around We Run Together because it perfectly encapsulates this inclusivity. Together, we are one marathon family.
But we know there’s more to be done if we are to be truly inclusive – a lot more.
This year we launched a review into our entry processes for the TCS London Marathon. We have consulted many individuals and groups and debated all the feedback at length. Our ambition is to make the TCS London Marathon the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world.
The decisions made from this review process will be rolled out over the coming years and today we are delighted to announce the first tranche of changes that will come into effect immediately for this year’s TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October.
These changes are:
- We will enable entries for assisted participants in the TCS London Marathon. This means that wheelchair users who are unable to propel themselves may now have assistance from a team of four – with a maximum of two members of the team permitted to push at any one time.
- We will enable pregnant or postpartum participants with a general entry or a Good For Age or Championship place to defer that place to the same category in any future London Marathon within a three-year window.
- We will give special considerations to participants in the virtual TCS London Marathon who cannot complete the 26.2 miles in the required 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds on Marathon Day for either religious reasons or because they have a disability. If someone cannot participate on Marathon Day for religious reasons, they can take part on the next suitable day, while if someone’s disability means completing the marathon distance within 24 hours is not possible, we will extend this time frame to one that is achievable for them.
We believe these changes are an important step forward as we seek to make the London Marathon truly inclusive to all. We know we have a long way to go to reach this goal and there will be further announcements of more changes as we continue on this journey.
Our vision is to Inspire Activity and this should have no boundaries or barriers. We want to Inspire Activity for all.
TCS London Marathon