Mon Jan 25 2021
Organisers hope 100,000 people can take part, with 50,000 running the actual London course
Organisers of the London marathon have announced they’ll be overhauling their controversial ‘Bond system’ offered out to charities, they’ll be running (pun intended) a hybrid race, with 50,000 people taking part in the historic route between Blackheath and the Mall and a further 50,000 taking part virtually and finally, the event itself has been pushed back to October, from April.
Race director of London Marathon Events, Hugh Brasher, said the increase in numbers from last years virtual event (and 2019’s numbers of 43,000) would create the worlds first 100,000 participant marathon and offer “big fundraising potential for charities”.
He added he was “incredibly optimistic” that, now the COVID vaccine was being rolled out nationwide, the London marathon could go ahead on October 03rd of this year.
We have been working for many years on plans to increase the London Marathon to 50,000 and the need to reallocate all the runners from the 2020 event accelerated this plan. This devastating pandemic has meant many more people are now understanding the physical and mental health benefits of being active and the new hybrid London Marathon offers great increased fundraising opportunities for charities.
As well as taking the London marathon virtual though, organisers will also be overhauling the often criticised ‘golden bond system’ by reducing the number of places offered which guarantee a charity a place in the run each year.
The hope in doing so is that the number of good causes that can take part each year will increase.
Golden Bonds were first introduced to the London marathon in the early ‘90’s and provided a guaranteed spot for five people on a perpetually renewed five-year cycle.
The London marathon offers a huge potential for fundraising to a NonProfit though, in fact it breaks its own record for fundraising every year, so the 629 holders of the Golden Bonds have little or no reason to ever give them up, meaning other charities can’t get places.
To make things fairer, from today, the number of running places per bond is being reduced to four (as of 2026 when the current bond runs out), with the duration of each bond being reduced to four years.
The organisers will also be phasing in ballots for two year and four year NonProfit places so that charities who don’t hold a Golden bond can also take part.
This was an exceptionally complex challenge in a very difficult year and we would like to thank all the charities and others who have worked with us to review the scheme. The London Marathon, for many charities, is the biggest fundraising day of the year, and the demand for places from charities is huge. We had to balance our responsibilities towards charities that have worked with us for decades with opening up the London Marathon to other charities for the first time in more than 20 years. We believe that our new scheme does that and gives our existing long-standing charity partners certainty on places up to 2033.
Mon Jan 25 2021