Find out how to take on the TCS London Marathon for charity 
 

What's new in 2024

The 2024 TCS London Marathon takes place on Sunday 21 April. Here are some of the top storylines and updates ahead of Marathon Day.  

EQUAL PRIZE MONEY ACROSS ALL ELITE RACES  

In a significant and historic moment for disability sport, the 2024 TCS London Marathon has become the first marathon in the world to make its prize money for wheelchair and non-disabled athletes exactly the same. 

The TCS London Marathon wheelchair races were already the richest in the world, but a further increase of $54,500 to the prize money in 2024 means the total prize pot stands at $308,000 (£247,500), creating parity with the non-disabled athletes. 

This means that all winners in the elite races of the 2024 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April will receive $55,000 (£44,000), with the runner-up earning $30,000 (£24,000) and third -place $22,500 (£18,000). 

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. 

EASTENDERS  

For the first time in the history of the London Marathon, the event will feature in one of the UK’s most-loved soaps, EastEnders. Two cast members, Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick, will take part in the 2024 TCS London Marathon as their characters, Honey Mitchell and Jay Brown, who are running in memory of fellow character Lola – Jay’s late wife who died in 2023.  

Barton and Borthwick have been training for the event throughout filming for EastEnders, and have also been fundraising for their own charities – BBC’s Children in Need and Prostate Cancer UK, respectively. 

Scenes for the iconic London-based soap will be shot at the 2024 TCS London Marathon and will be included in an EastEnders episode due to be aired on Monday 22 April – the day after this year’s TCS London Marathon. 

A MARATHON FOR EVERYONE

We have a variety of new initiatives at the 2024 TCS London Marathon to ensure every participant feels included and fully supported. These include:   

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES  

New this year will be a purpose-built family area, primarily for people with children under the age of five, available to use at the Finish at Horse Guards Parade. This area will provide an exclusive space for families. Facilities and products include: 

  • Baby change mat
  • Breastfeeding chairs
  • Microwave
  • Nappies in various sizes
  • Nappy bin
  • Play pen
  • Wet wipes 

CHANGING FACILITIES  

A limited number of male, female and gender-neutral changing rooms will be available at the Finish Area for participants to change into clothes from kitbags.  

REFLECTION SPACE  

A reflection space will be available in the Finish Area for the first time. It will be separated into two different spaces – a faith space and a quiet space. The faith space is open to any religion or for anyone who may need to take time to reflect. The quiet space is provided for people who are neurodivergent. There will also be a quiet space just before the halfway point of the TCS London Marathon, south of Tower Bridge. The spaces will have noise cancelling headphones and beans bags.  

SUPPORT FOR WOMEN 

This year, we have continued our support for women including:  

Sanitary products: free sanitary products, including tampons and towels from Tampax and Always, will be supplied at all Drinks 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. 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: there are private areas 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. 

ACCESSIBLE VIEWING AREA FOR SPECTATORS  

Accessible viewing areas will be available along the course and in the Finish Area to support those with any accessibility needs such as mobility issues, frailty or neurodivergence, meaning spectators don't have to miss any of the action. The accessible viewing area locations are online here.  

SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES 

JOGON 

London Marathon Events (LME), organisers of the TCS London Marathon, recently announced it will be supporting the running shoe collection campaign JogOn to collect unwanted trainers at its running events. 

Estimates from JogOn suggest more than three million shoes end up in landfill each year and JogOn’s ambition is to remove more than one million pairs of trainers from landfill. The partnership will facilitate the collection of hundreds of trainers and running shoes from participants at the 2024 TCS London Marathon Running Show, where all participants collect their running bibs between Wednesday 17 and Saturday 20 April. 

SALVATION ARMY 

A brand-new partnership with the Salvation Army Trading Company, the trading arm of The Salvation Army, will mean the charity will collect clothing discarded by participants at the 2024 TCS London Marathon. 
Salvation Army volunteers will collect clothing discarded by participants prior to the Start Line. The clothing will be taken to The Salvation Army processing centre in the East Midlands for sorting and distribution to be resold, reused or recycled. 
The scheme is one of LME’s new sustainability initiatives for 2024 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: 

  • There will be no single-use carpet this year in large areas of the Running Show and all carpet used is made from recycled material and is then sent to be recycled*
  • Bib numbers printed on-demand at the Running Show to reduce waste
  • Finisher medals made from recycled zinc* with the ribbons made from recycled materials
  • Kit bags made from sugarcane, which is a type of bioplastic that is recyclable
  • £26 carbon levy paid by all international participants used to help compensate greenhouse gas emissions associated with overseas travel. This is then spent on carbon removal credits 
  • Our entry system offered everyone the chance to opt out of a T-shirt and plant a tree through our partnership with Trees Not Tees
  • New Balance finisher T-shirts made from 100% recycled polyester
  • Reusable mile markers, created in 2022, made from event waste and recycled ocean plastic
  • There are water refill stations at each Start Area and on the course (at Mile 15) providing tap water from bowsers suitable for runners who are carrying their own container (hydration vest or hand-held running bottle)*
  • Buxton Natural Mineral Water bottles are made of 100% recycled plastic (excluding cap and label) and are collected separately, returned to Buxton and recycled into new bottles. These are 250ml bottles, specially produced for London Marathon Events by Buxton and are designed to help save water and plastic
  • Lucozade bottles are also made from 100% recycled plastic (excluding cap and label) and are collected separately, then sent for recycling
  • Nissan electric vehicles are used on course as lead vehicles and more than 50% of logistics vehicles used in event set up and breakdown are electric
  • HVO (vegetable oil) fuel is used in generators
  • Nissan Leaf electric vehicle used to power the stage at Rainbow Row
  • Volunteer-run recycling stations are provided to improve recycling rates.
  • Leftover food and drink products are donated to The Felix Project, a London-based food waste and redistribution charity that rescues surplus food and delivers it to almost 1,000 frontline charities, primary schools and holiday programmes to help feed local communities.
    *denotes new initiatives for 2024

    TCS LONDON MARATHON RUNNING SHOW

    The 2024 TCS London Marathon Running Show will open at the ExCeL Centre at 10:00 on Wednesday 17 April and close at 17:30 on Saturday 20 April. Highlights at the 2024 Running Show include:
  • Create your own Digital Twin at the TCS Booth: visitors will be able to create a digital version of themselves in the TCS Digital Holo Studio. 
  • 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 an 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 Paula Radcliffe or David Weir.
  • JogOn: drop-off points will be staffed by The Salvation Army volunteers throughout the Running Show for visitors to donate their unwanted running shoes and trainers.

 
SAMARITANS – CHARITY OF THE YEAR

The 2024 TCS London Marathon Charity of the Year is Samaritans.

The charity is using the partnership to raise awareness of its Believe In Tomorrow campaign. It is encouraging #TeamSamaritans to show others there is always hope and to raise money to help Samaritans be there, day and night, for anyone who is struggling to cope. The money raised from the COTY partnership will go towards training more volunteers to answer more calls for help, and, ultimately, save lives. 

Samaritans on TCS London Marathon Day: 

  • 500 participants in the 2024 TCS London Marathon and more than 150 participants in the 2024 TCS London Marathon MyWay, running in cities across the UK.
  • 15 Emotional Support hubs across the route.
  • 30 Samaritans volunteers will be part of 2024 TCS London Marathon’s Tailwalkers, supporting runners at the back of the event.
  • 10 UK railway stations will be illuminated in green over Marathon weekend including three London stations, plus Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh.
  • 76 town takeovers by Samaritans branches across the UK.
  • 15 UK landmarks lighting up green, including the Tower of London on the evening of Saturday 20 April. 

For more information on the partnership, click here

TCS MINI LONDON MARATHON 

More than 14,000 children and young people will take part in either one mile or 2.6K events at the 2024 TCS Mini London Marathon on Saturday 20 April. 

Now in its third year as a standalone event on Saturday, the TCS Mini London Marathon is held around St James’s Park and shares the same world famous Finish as the TCS London Marathon, on The Mall. 

The event begins with championship races for the best young athletes from across the UK, followed by a series of mass participation one mile and 2.6K waves for children and young people aged between four and 17 from schools across the country. 

Every participant aged 17 or under who finishes the 2024 TCS Mini London Marathon will earn £10 from title partner TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) for their school to spend on PE or IT equipment. In previous years, schools have used the donations to purchase new PE equipment for a range of sports including basketball, football and gymnastics.

Hundreds of thousands more pupils around the UK are taking part in the TCS Mini London Marathon in schools, where children and young people run, jog, walk or wheel 2.6 miles in their school setting. The challenge runs from Monday 15 April until Friday 10 May with more than 300,000 children to date registered to take part.

In an exciting new partnership, WWF-UK (the World Wide Fund for Nature) has become the inaugural charity partner of both the TCS Mini London Marathon and TCS Mini London Marathon in schools.
WWF-UK will work alongside London Marathon Events (organisers of the TCS Mini London Marathon) to encourage more children and young people to be physically active while inspiring and equipping the next generation to be responsible stewards of our world.

To mark the partnership, WWF supporter Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) will be on site on The Mall at Saturday’s TCS Mini London Marathon to act as a starter, hand out medals to finishers and even take children through some of his famous warm-ups.

2025 TCS LONDON MARATHON BALLOT 

The ballot for the 2025 TCS London Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 27 April 2025, will open on Saturday 20 April – the day before this year’s event.