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London Marathon

Fancy running 26.2 miles around the UK capital? Take part in one of the world’s best-known athletics events to raise money for Sightsavers and change lives around the world.

When: Sunday 4 October 2021

Runners cross Tower Bridge during the London Marathon.

Get in touch to apply for a Sightsavers charity place

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When it comes to charity challenges, this world-famous event is the one to beat.

Every year, some 40,000 runners cross the London Marathon start line as they embark on the 26.2-mile course, which snakes its way through central London, passing Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

It’s not just for elite athletes, either: every year, thousands of first-time runners are cheered round the course and over the finish line by crowds of supporters who line the route. The atmosphere is euphoric, emotional and never to be forgotten.

The public ballot to secure a place for the race takes place a year in advance, usually at the end of April/start of May.  If you secure a place through the ballot, we’d love you to fundraise for Sightsavers: email [email protected] for details. If you’re offered a charity place, we will register you with the marathon organisers; you’ll then need to complete the registration to secure your place.

All our runners – ballot and charity – will get fundraising support, marathon newsletters, a fundraising pack and a Sightsavers running vest. If you need any other fundraising materials, just ask!


UPDATE: The ballot for the 2021 London Marathon is now open, and we are accepting applications. Please email [email protected] for more details.

Want to join in?

If you’d like to apply for one of Sightsavers’ limited charity places, email [email protected] for more information.

If you secure your own place through the ballot and want to fundraise for Sightsavers, email us at [email protected] for support and merchandise such as running vests.

For more information, visit the London Marathon website.

How can I get involved?

Runners line up on the start line of the London Marathon.

1. Secure your place

There are two main options for taking part in the marathon. You can secure a place via the public ballot, which runs each spring, then opt to fundraise for us. Alternatively, apply for one of Sightsavers’ charity places:
email us for more information.

A boy holding one pound coins

2. Pay your entry fee

If you are offered one of Sightsavers’ charity places, you won’t need to pay a registration fee, but you’ll pledge to raise £1,800 in sponsorship for us. Alternatively, the entry fee for the public ballot is £39 (or £37 if you’re part of an affiliated running club).

Charlotte from our Supporter Care team smiles while wearing a yellow Sightsavers T-shirt.

3. Start fundraising

A Sightsavers contact person will be on hand to support you, and you’ll receive email updates featuring fundraising tips and training advice. We can also provide branded running vests, hats and caps to wear during your training and on race day.

All your gifts help to achieve our aim of changing lives for the better.

You’ll be transforming lives

Every gift you give helps change lives for people in the world’s poorest countries. Since our work began, your donations have provided 7.9 million cataract surgeries and 481,000 advanced trachoma operations. Our donors have also helped us to support more than 264,000 people with disabilities, enabling them to live full and independent lives.

We think it’s money well spent, and we hope you do too.

More ways you can raise money for Sightsavers

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