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A record-smashing 840,000 runners enter the ballot for the 2025 London Marathon

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Want to run 26.2 miles in London? You’re not the only one.

The London Marathon made history on Sunday [28 April] with an unprecedented surge in applications for a ballot place in the 2025 edition. A whopping 840,318 hopefuls entered the ballot for a chance to participate in next year’s race, surpassing the London Marathon’s previous record, set in 2024, of 578,304. That’s 261,696 more runners!

‘This is an absolutely phenomenal total,’ said Hugh Brasher, the race’s event director, in a statement. ‘Furthermore, the increase in applications from women, up from around 43% last year to 49% this year, is exceptional and takes us close to parity for applications from men and women for the first time.’

Most applicants hail from the UK, making up 672,631 runners, while 167,687 are international. By comparison, the New York City Marathon – one of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors, alongside London, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo – received 165,000 ballot applications for its 2024 race, while the Tokyo Marathon typically gets around 300,000 applications from hopeful runners each year.

So, how many runners will actually get to embark on that famous 26.2-mile tour of London in 2025? If this year’s race is any indicator, just under 53,700 – but that includes successful ballot runners as well as charity runners, those who qualified via time standard and runners who who secured spots by other means. The results of the ballot for the 2025 London Marathon will be emailed to applicants in July.

Every year, the London Marathon takes runners on an iconic tour of the UK’s capital. Starting in Greenwich and finishing on The Mall, it weaves over and past some of the city’s most impressive landmarks including Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Big Ben.

The 2024 event, which took place on 21 April, was won by Alexander Munyao of Kenya and reigning Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir. Amateur participants also raised more than £67 million for charities, solidifying the London Marathon’s title as the world’s biggest single-day fundraising event.

‘We work to inspire activity in people of all ages and abilities and these astonishing record-breaking numbers show how the London Marathon does that and how many people want to be part of it,’ continued Brasher.

As for which Abbott World Marathon Major is the toughest? That’s up for debate

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