Start refreshing your inbox and hovering by your letterbox, the London Marathon 2018 ballot results will be announced this week. Some runners will already have learned their fate, and everyone who entered the ballot will receive their results before Monday 9th October. If you don’t get anything by then, you should get in touch with the London Marathon helpdesk.

If you manage to secure a spot then rejoice, because this year it was harder than ever to do so, with a record 385,050 people entering. Over half (58%) of UK applicants have never run a marathon before, so if that’s you and you have won a place, you’ll want to head on over to our marathon training plan page to start getting prepped for the race.

RECOMMENDED: Marathon Training Plans

Winners are picked at random, no matter how many times you’ve entered in the past, with around 17,500 ballot-place runners likely to be on the start line at the London Marathon 2018.

As anyone who paid attention in maths will realise, 386,050 is a far bigger number than 17,500 so the odds of getting a place are long. However, more than 17,500 people are given a spot through the ballot. This is because the organisers take into account the surprisingly large number of people who drop out after being awarded a place.

If you have secured a ballot place but find yourself unable to run in the race, which is set to take place on 22nd April 2018, you can defer your place for a year (but you can only do this once before losing your spot).

It cost £39 to enter the ballot. The money is non-refundable whether or not you get a spot. Bear in mind, though, that a London Marathon ballot place is incredibly cheap for such a big event – the New York Marathon, for example, costs $358 (around £267) for foreigners and $295 (£220) for Americans.

RECOMMENDED: UK Marathons

If you don’t succeed in the London Marathon 2018 ballot, don’t despair – there are other ways to get a place in the race, including running for charity. Once the ballot results are announced many charities will step up their efforts to recruit runners for the 2018 marathon, so it’s worth investigating any causes that are close to your heart to see if you can run to raise money for them.

Most charities require a registration fee of £50-£100 plus fundraising of £2,000 for a place in the London Marathon. Raising that amount of money might seem as much of a challenge as running the race itself, but your charity will support you – and you can always turn to Coach for some advice on how to fundraise for your marathon too.

Some charities might already have filled their spots for the 2018 marathon but it’s worth registering your interest with them anyway, because they re-allocate places if runners drop out.

Another way to enter the London Marathon is to apply for Good For Age entry – if you’re a fast runner. For instance, any male runner aged 18-40 who has completed a marathon in under 3hr 5min can apply for an automatic spot. These places were made available in June and the window for Good For Age entry at the 2018 race has now shut, but if you are a speed demon and have notched up a fast marathon since the start of 2017, you will be able to use the time to enter the 2019 London Marathon.

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