The London Marathon

Many of our members view The London Marathon as the pinnacle of each year’s running calendar. However getting a running number to participate is by no means an easy task.
Some members are able to get into the race by way of “Good for Age”. Please refer to the London Marathon website for eligibility criteria and details of how and when to apply for these places.

Other members get into the race by way of gold bonds. A gold bond is a guaranteed number provided to many different charities. In return for the running number the charity would expect the runner to raise funds. The amount you would need to raise varies by charity, but will most likely be over £1,000. Please refer to the charity of your choice for further details.

Almost everyone else will need to enter into the race by using the London Marathon’s on-line ballot. This ballot will always be heavily over-subscribed and will always close within hours of opening. If you wish to enter in this way keep an eye on the London Marathon website for details on how to enter this ballot. If you are unsuccessful in this ballot The London Marathon Company will send you a magazine and letter confirming that you were unlucky

Club Assistance at the London Marathon

Each year Bracknell Forest Runners provide assistance to The London Marathon Company. This valuable assistance takes 2 forms:

We provide the manpower for two baggage lorries. This involves us taking control of the allocated baggage lorries within the finish area of the race and ensuring that each piece of baggage gets back to the appropriate runner as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We also operate an elite drinks station situated in the final couple of miles of the race. It is our responsibility to ensure that the specialist drinks used by the elite runners are readily available for them as they pass our station.

These teams are organised by our club secretary and if you would like to assist you should drop the secretary an e-mail. We try to have a mixture of experienced and inexperienced members every year so that knowledge gets transferred. Acceptance criteria is however first come first served.

Each year the club gets allocated a number of its own guaranteed entries.

The number of such entries varies each year and come in two forms:

As a consequence of our assistance on baggage and drinks we are allocated “helpers” places.

As we are affiliated to England Athletics we are allocated a number of places based on our club’s membership size.

We ballot our club places on our Mince pies night in December

You do not have to be present at the mince pies night to enter the ballot for club places

To qualify for the club ballot you must meet the following Criteria:

1: You must have been a fully paid up first claim member of Bracknell Forest Runners for a minimum of 12 months as of 1st December of the current year

2: You must have entered the Public ballot for the year we have club places available and be able to produce an original rejection letter or email NO EXCEPTIONS

We will then split the ballot entries into two sections each of which then has additional qualifying criteria to the above
Section one will be for the places gifted to the club in return for our volunteer efforts for the previous years race.

To qualify for this section of the club ballot you must have been and officially accredited volunteer at either the elite drinks station at 40k or Finish line baggage trucks 10 and 11 for the previous years race if you are not successsful in section one of the ballot you are automatically added to the Second section of the ballot

Section two will be for the places gifted to the club by UK Athletics because we are a UKA accredited club

To qualify for this section of the ballot you need to have supported the club personally over the past 12 months of your membership – examples of this include:

  • Marshalling or volunteering at our club events in the previous 12 months – this includes Bracknell Half Marathon, The Forest Five, Club Handicaps and our Cross Country Race
  • Regular run leading for official club runs on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Sunday
  • Committee members, Web Admin, Race results

For the avoidance of doubt, running in club kit in races does not qualify you for the London Marathon Ballot for club places.

Given the growth in our membership over the past couple of years alongside the changes to the process for the public ballot it is becoming increasingly more difficult for runners to get an entry to the London Marathon so with this in mind in order to try and give as many people as possible to run this iconic race the committee have decided that from 2019 race entries onwards there will also be disqualifying criteria for the  club places.

You will not be eligible for the club ballot for the following years London Marathon if:

  • You ran the last London Marathon in any capacity (this includes good for age, charity and club places plus ballot entries)
  • You have won a place in the club ballot in the previous three years

The reasoning behind introducing disqualifying criteria for the club ballot is that The London Marathon is the Holy Grail of races for runners all over the world and we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take part in the greatest race in the world.

If you have any questions regarding the club ballot please email

With all matters associated with the club’s guaranteed entries the decision of your committee is final.


Many of our members will be raising money for their favourite charity or charities either at the London Marathon or at an alternative event. We have a charities page on our website so if a member would like a listing on that page send the chairman an e-mail with the

  • The name of the event
  • Your name
  • The name of the charity (it must be a UK registered charity)
  • The link to your online donations page

Race Day

The club will organise the hire of two buses to take members and non-members into London. The buses will leave from the Sports Centre on the Bagshot Road. One will drive to the start of the race and the other to the finish area of the race.

Obviously all runners (whether or not affiliated to the club) will take priority on the bus going to the start and all helpers will take priority on the bus going to the finish. That said there will probably be spare places on both buses which will be available to spectators.

Helpers will travel free of charge as will runners who are first or second claim to the club.

Spectators and runners who are not first or second claim to the club will be charged a fare. The fare is for a return journey; there will not be a reduction if someone chooses to do just one leg of the journey.

Both buses will be available to take us back from London to Bracknell Sports centre. Each bus will leave at different times. Please note the club secretary will advertise the time that the buses leave from either the Sports Centre or from London. We will be punctual so if anyone is late they will have to make alternative arrangements. However it is possible that the baggage bus may stay open later than expected in which case the second bus home may have to be delayed.

Of course the paramount object of the day is to enjoy yourself, finish uninjured and achieve whatever you goal is.

Club Colours

We strongly encourage all members to wear club colours at all events in which they compete. Wearing colours makes you easily identifiable to other runners, spectators (whether they know you or not) and our helpers out on the course.

However, irrespective of how you obtained your number, we realise that you may wish to wear alternative colours for example those of your nominated charity. The committee wholly endorses this action on your part.