Like many of today’s popular races, the Virgin Money London Marathon uses a ballot system to select most of its participants—and this year’s entry numbers hit new heights. The London Marathon had already set a world record for the number of interested runners who went through the process of submitting a ballot (last year, 386,050 applications were submitted for the 2018 marathon). During the small window between April 30 and May 4 when the balloting system was open for 2019’s race, Reuters reported that a whopping 414,168 people around the world applied for entry (the majority of whom were women), showing an increase of 7.3 percent from last year’s numbers and breaching the 400,000 mark for the first time.
All balloted entries are selected through a random application process and will be notified of their registration status during the first week of October. Though the total number of approved balloted participants is not shared with the public, the race accepts just over 40,000 runners each year, a pool that includes those within the elite fields and charity runners. For those interested in running next year’s London Marathon, scheduled to take place on April 28, 2019, the chance to get in as a balloted entrant is over, but the opportunity to participate on behalf of one of the marathon’s partnered charities is still available.