Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club

Friendly east London club for athletes of all abilities


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London Marathon

Watching the marathon

Club marathon places

The Club is generally allocated a few places for each London Marathon, which are allocated amongst the membership by ballot in the November preceding the marathon. To be eligible for a place in the ballot you must:

  • Be a first claim member and not be in arrears for membership subscriptions.
  • Have applied and been rejected through the normal London Marathon ballot or the Good For Age Ballot following the changes introduced in 2018.
  • Not have received a guaranteed club entry for either of the previous 2 London Marathons.
  • Additionally, on at least 5 occasions in the year prior to the London Marathon you are entering, you must have either represented the club in a club race or been a volunteer helper. Races include league competitions or championship events at which the club enters a team, club championships and club handicaps. No more than one club handicap may be included in the list of races. Open races do not count. Volunteer helper includes marshalling or officiating at a club hosted event, helping out at a working party, helping out the entertainments team either behind the bar or at a club party/event or holding an official post within the club. Any mix of races and helping out will count to make up the 5 occasions.

Only members who meet all of the criteria above will be included in the draw for the first half of the available places. However, members who satisfy points 1 to 3 in the previous year, but failed to meet the criteria in 4 will be included in the draw for the remaining or reserve places if they met those criteria AND have maintained unbroken membership during a full 12 months prior to the ballot. Please note that after the allocated places have been awarded, names will continue to be drawn as reserves - see note below regarding reserves. It is the club’s wish to allocate the places equally and fairly between male and female athletes in so far as possible.

Draw when the club has been allocated an EVEN number of VLM places (e.g. 4):

The following draw procedure will be followed:

  • Applicants will be divided in to two hats, one male and one female.
  • Places will be allocated based upon the order drawn (for example in the case of FOUR places being allocated) e.g. first female, second female, first female reserve, second female reserve etc.
  • Repeat the same for male athletes.
  • In the event that there are insufficient male or female applicants, places or reserve places will be opened up to the other applicants in the draw - see below.

Draw when the club has been allocated an ODD number of VLM places (e.g. 3):

The following draw procedure will be followed:

  • Applicants will be divided in to two hats, one male and one female.
  • An even number of places will be divided equally (for example in the case of FIVE places being allocated two female and two male places will be drawn).
  • To allocate the remaining place ALL applicants (both male and female) will be combined in to ONE hat. The next name to be drawn from this combined hat will decide the final place to be awarded.
  • Reserves will then be drawn from this combined hat - see below.

A note about reserve places:

Once the places have been drawn all remaining names will be placed in a hat and reserves will be selected in order. If one person drops out then the first reserve will be allocated their place, and if another person drops out then the second reserve will be allocated their place, and so on. It should be noted that reserve places are allocated in order and are not allocated equally on a gender basis. For example if a male drops out and the first person on the reserve list is female, then they will replace them rather than selecting the first male from the reserve list. It should also be noted that as the reserve list is selected from the remaining combined male and female applicants, that it is possible that all reserves could be all male or all female if that’s how the draw turns out.

Please note: Members who are lucky enough to receive a place would be expected to run the marathon in a club top and to participate in any of the club’s marathon publicity (e.g. local news or social media)

If you would like to apply for a Club Marathon place, or have any queries regarding eligibility, please contact either the Men’s or Women’s Director or Road & Cross-Country Running.