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New and improved for 2023

Headline news about the 2023 TCS London Marathon

Former London Marathon champions to be official starters

Three former London Marathon champions will be the official starters of the 2023 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 23 April. Ingrid Kristiansen, Catherina McKiernan and Gordon Perry will all return to London as official starters.

Kristiansen won the London Marathon four times – the most victories by any female runner in the event’s history. She won four out of five London Marathons between 1984 and 1988 and set a world record time of 2:21:06 at the 1985 London Marathon, which stood for 13 years. This year will be 35 years since her final London Marathon win in 1988, a landmark she will celebrate as an official starter for an incredible elite women’s race in London.

Kristiansen will be joined as official starter of the elite women’s race by McKiernan, another London Marathon champion, who won the 1998 race on her debut in London. McKiernan, who also won the Berlin Marathon in 1997 and remains the Irish marathon record holder (2:22:23), will be celebrating 25 years since her win in London.

The elite wheelchair races will be started by Perry, who won the first ever wheelchair race at the 1983 London Marathon. Perry will return to the London Marathon for the first time since his inaugural win and celebrates 40 years since that victory.

More information on the official starter of the elite men’s race will follow.

Rainbow Row

Last year a stretch of the world-famous TCS London Marathon route was transformed into Rainbow Row for the first time, celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community, promoting inclusivity and creating a unique party atmosphere that gave participants the ultimate lift at a point when they need it the most.

Rainbow Row returns in 2023 and is again located on what is usually Butcher Row in Limehouse, a 250m stretch of road that is just past the 21-mile mark on the TCS London Marathon course. 

London Marathon Events (LME) is working closely with the LGBTQIA+ community to create a carnival energy along Rainbow Row for this year’s event.

Jeremy Joseph, the owner of G-A-Y and Heaven nightclubs in London, who has run the London Marathon on 12 occasions, has been working with LME, alongside others, to plan Rainbow Row. DJs on the line up at Rainbow Row this year include Denise van Outen, Duncan James from Blue, Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls and Myleene Klass.

Butcher Row, where Rainbow Row will be located, runs from Commercial Road in the north to The Highway in the south. Participants pass the 21-mile mark on Commercial Road before turning into Rainbow Row and then exiting on to The Highway, back towards the finish in central London. 

Non-binary entries

As part of London Marathon Events’ commitment to making the TCS London Marathon the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world, a non-binary gender option was offered to applicants in the 2023 TCS London Marathon Ballot for the first time. The three gender options – male, female and non-binary – were offered to all participants registering for the mass participant element of the TCS London Marathon, including charity entries. For more information on this entry policy, click here.

Support for women

In 2022, we announced that pregnant or postpartum participants can defer their place to the same category in any future London Marathon within a three-year window, should they want to.

This year, we’ve also put together various forms of support for women for the 2023 TCS London Marathon, including:

  • Sanitary products: free sanitary products, including tampons and towels from Tampax and Always, will be supplied at all medical stations, Information Points and changing rooms, along with other useful items such as hair ties and grips, breast pads, tissues and wet wipes.
  • The Peequal: these innovative female urinals are used at a number of music festivals such as Glastonbury. Ideal for when you need a quick wee, the Peequal will cut queues in the Red and Blue Assembly Areas thanks to its simple ‘squat and go’ design. Peequal’s co-founders Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane claim it’s six times quicker to use than a conventional loo – although there will still be plenty of these available for those who prefer them.
  • Breastfeeding areas: this year we will be offering a private area for breastfeeding and/or expressing milk just before the halfway point and at the Finish for any participants who need it. The areas are supported by parenting charity Best Beginnings, whose representatives will also be on hand to offer support and advice.

Ramadan training support and advice

This year, the TCS London Marathon returns to its traditional springtime slot and falls on Sunday 23 April – just two days after Ramadan ends. To help our Muslim participants who are observing the holy month while preparing for the 26.2-mile event, we have curated helpful advice, inspiration and stories from people who understand the challenge of training safely and effectively at this time.

We have top tips from eight-time London Marathon finisher Haroon Mota, training advice from Dr Zaf Iqbal, Crystal Palace FC’s Head of Sports Medicine and inspiring advice on keeping active during Ramadan from young football referee Jawahir Roble MBE – plus much more. For more information on training during Ramadan, click here.

The richest wheelchair races in history

The wheelchair races at this year’s TCS London Marathon will be the richest in history after the prize pot was increased once again for 2023.

The TCS London Marathon has increased the winners’ prize money by $10,000 from last year (from $35,000 to $45,000) and the overall prize pot, across both the male and female races, has grown in 2023 by $54,000, from $199,500 to $253,500. Prize money is available for athletes finishing in the top 10, with further prize money available for the Abbott World Marathon Majors Flying 400, the competition within the TCS London Marathon for the fastest wheelchair racer over a 400m distance.

Trees Not Tees

For the first time, participants in the TCS London Marathon have been offered the option to opt out of receiving an official finisher’s T-shirt and have a tree planted instead. This is part of a partnership between London Marathon Events (LME), organiser of the TCS London Marathon, and Trees Not Tees.

The scheme is part of LME’s ongoing commitment to reduce its environmental impact and will see Trees Not Tees plant a sapling in its sustainable reforestation project in the UK for everyone who takes up this option. In return, participants will receive a personalised digital certificate, including a photo of their tree – and a what3words geolocation so they can visit their tree if they’d like to.

LME’s work with Trees Not Tees is one of several sustainability initiatives for 2023 aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its events, with a particular focus on lowering carbon emissions, cutting waste and improving circularity.

Other sustainability initiatives this year include:

  • £26 carbon levy paid by all international participants used to fund carbon removal and offset projects
  • New Balance finisher T-shirts made from 100% recycled polyester
  • Reusable mile markers, created in 2022, made from event waste and recycled ocean plastic
  • 100% electric lead vehicles, together with more than 50% of logistics vehicles used in event set up and breakdown
  • Cleaner event power including generators and baggage vehicles fuelled by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), which is significantly lower in carbon and particulate emissions than diesel
  • Medal ribbons made from recycled materials
  • Finisher bags made from sugar cane
  • Specially designed bottle belts (made from 95% recycled materials) to enable participants to carry their hydration and reduce the waste of water
  • Drink, Drain, Drop campaign to ensure drinks bottles (all made from recycled plastic) are collected and returned for recycling to Buxton
  • Clothing discarded at the Start collected and sent for reuse and recycling

TCS London Marathon Running Show

The 2023 TCS London Marathon Running Show will open at the ExCel Centre at 10:00 on Wednesday 19 April and close at 17:00 on Saturday 22 April. New for the Running Show this year are:

  • Women’s Hour on Centre Stage: these talks will tackle topics such as running while on your period and training at different stages of your cycle, as well as exercise before, during and after menopause
  • Sustainability stand: this will feature a brand-new interactive wall full of #WePledgeTogether selfies and a water refill station
  • AR experience: those attending the Running Show will have the opportunity to take virtual selfies with London Marathon legends Sir Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe or David Weir

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity as Charity of the Year

The official Charity of the Year of the 2023 TCS London Marathon is Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity. The charity is using the partnership to launch its fundraising appeal for a brand-new Children’s Cancer Centre at GOSH, which cares for children with the hardest-to-treat cancers.

Advances have outstripped GOSH’s current cancer care facilities, so the hospital needs a new home to help deliver breakthrough therapies. Team GOSH fundraising from the TCS London Marathon will help build the new Children’s Cancer Centre at GOSH to help save more children’s lives. For more information on the partnership, click here.

2024 TCS London Marathon Ballot

The ballot for the 2024 TCS London Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 21 April, will open on Saturday 22 April – the day before this year’s event.