Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Thank you for running with us in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019! 

You smashed it! We’re so proud of what you achieved at the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019. And thank you so much for choosing to be part of the RNLI Running Crew – you’re a real lifesaver.

The funds you raised will make an extraordinary difference.

Ready to pay in? 

Virgin Money London Marathon 2020

Already looking forward to 2020 race? Register your interest in joining our running crew today! 


The Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the top five World Marathon Majors and probably the best-known event in the UK running calendar. It’s incredibly popular, with a record 386,050 people applying for a place in 2018.
The London Marathon has had an extraordinary impact, inspiring profound social change, compelling people to take up running and raising millions for charity. Since 1981, it’s raised more than £890M for good causes.

The atmosphere at the London Marathon is truly inspiring, with runners of all abilities and from all walks of life coming together. It’s broadcast live on the BBC, and the on-course refreshments, live music and sea of 650,000 cheering supporters will all help you get to that finish line.

If you’re passionate about saving lives, why not join the RNLI Running Crew? If you have a ballot place, register with us today. If you don’t have a ballot place, apply for a charity place with us.

Running the Virgin Money London Marathon for the RNLI

Photo: Jon Stokes


Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Wicklow RNLI crew member jumping into the sea from the station’s D class lifeboat as part of a rescue reconstruction

Photo: Nigel Millard

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Drowning is a bigger problem than most people realise. In the UK, it accounts for more deaths than house fires or cycling deaths on the road. Around 400 lives are lost every year- that’s one person dying every 20 hours*.

And worldwide, drowning claims an estimated 360,000 lives every year. It’s a leading killer in low- and middle-income countries, even though the causes are often easily preventable. 

Run with us and help bring these numbers down. You’ll raise essential funds to train and equip lifesavers, share essential drowning prevention advice and save more lives.

Together we can save lives.

Want to find out more? Take a look at our online magazine for RNLI rescue stories, innovations and crew profiles.

*Statistics taken from The UK Drowning Prevention Strategy

Our Support

We’re with you every step of the way:

We’ve got everything you need to train for the London MarathonWhile you train

You can join our RNLI Runners Facebook group to share tips and advice with your fellow runners. You’ll also get access to handy marathon training plans, so you can achieve your goal – whatever your ability.

When you fundraise

You’ll get everything you need to reach your fundraising target, from downloadable resources to fundraising ideas. You can even get an RNLI fundraising T-shirt! Plus, our Events Team will be on-hand to answer any questions you might have along the way. 

You’ll get a goody bag filled with cheer gear for your supporters

On the big day

You’ll get an RNLI-branded running vest to wear with pride. Knowing you’re running for a great cause can give you a huge boost during the race. And we’ll be there to cheer you on to that finish line! You can also request a goody bag, with cheer gear for your supporters to use.

After the race

We’ll be holding a post-race reception for you (and your friends and family), where you can get a sports massage and enjoy a well-deserved buffet. You’ll even get an RNLI medal as a token of our appreciation and support.


We need volunteers like you to support and cheer on our dedicated runners.

The excitement on the day is incredible. As well as feeling inspired by the runners, you'll be helping to raise money for our courageous lifeboat crews and lifeguards. 

There are two types of volunteer roles. Whether you want to cheer on RNLI runners at one of our two cheering stations, or help them after they cross the finish line, we’d love your help!

Cheering team

We need enthusiastic (and loud!) volunteers to cheer on our fantastic RNLI runners. Your support really does make a huge difference.

You’ll be positioned along the race route, either in front of Tower Lifeboat Station or at Canary Wharf. It’s a chance to enjoy the electric atmosphere of the London Marathon and get a great view of London and the Thames!

Join our cheering team at the Virgin Money London Marathon

Photo: Jon Stokes

Post-race team

We need chatty volunteers to get RNLI runners from the finish line to their well-deserved post-race reception, where they’ll get a warm welcome, a buffet and a sports massage. After 26.2 gruelling miles, they deserve it. Plus, you’ll get to meet some incredible people, all with amazing stories about why they’re running for the RNLI.

The perks of volunteering

  • light refreshments
  • a bag of RNLI goodies, including an RNLI T-shirt
  • getting to know some of the fantastic people involved – from the runners and their families to the RNLI staff and lifeboat crew
  • getting volunteering experience for a CV. 

You don’t need prior knowledge or experience of the RNLI. You might be a friend or family member of one of the runners, an RNLI supporter, or maybe you just want to join us for the experience. Whatever your reason for getting involved, it’s a great chance to meet new people, get volunteering experience for your CV, and support the RNLI Running Crew. And all while enjoying one of the UK’s most popular sporting events.


You'll get all of the information you need for the event closer to the day, but if you have any queries about volunteering at the London Marathon, please email

If you’re under 18, you’ll need to complete a consent form before you arrive on the day. This will be provided to you on confirmation of your role.


When you race with our RNLI Running Crew, we’re with you every step of the way. To help you with your preparations for the London Marathon, we’ve put together some resources that we hope will be useful.

Below you’ll find sponsorship forms, posters, training plans, social media graphics and more. There’s also a general guide to RNLI fundraising, which contains information on how to submit money and raise awareness.

If you have any questions, please get in touch on 0300 3009 918 (01 895 1850 if you’re in Ireland), or


Online fundraising pages

Setting up and sharing a Virgin Money Giving or JustGiving page is a great way to kick off your fundraising and make it easier for friends online to sponsor you. You can also find more helpful information, flyers and buttons to help you promote and personalise your page.

Social media posts


Social media

Local media

Training plans


If I run for the RNLI, how much money do I have to raise?

There is no minimum fundraising amount for RNLI ballot place runners - we’re extremely grateful for whatever money you can raise. In previous years, ballot place runners have raised around £200-£1,000 each.

Charity place runners have a minimum fundraising pledge of £2,300 excluding Gift Aid. We recommend using one of the online fundraising pages to make accepting sponsorship money easier for you. Please use the links below to automatically allocate the funds to the RNLI.

Just Giving: RNLI Just Giving Page Set Up
Virgin Money Giving: RNLI Virgin Money Giving Page Set Up

To use our sponsorships forms or find additional fundraising ideas see the ‘fundraising resources’ tab. 

What support will I receive if I run for the RNLI?

Once you’ve registered or been allocated a charity place, we’ll support you through your London Marathon journey. Before the big day, you’ll receive training, fundraising and media tips by email, access to training videos, a fundraising T-shirt, cheer gear for your supporters and a RNLI running vest. On the big day, you’ll be boosted by our two cheering stations and invited to attend the RNLI post-race reception, where you can enjoy a massage and refreshments.

For more information about our support package, see the ‘our support’ tab.  A race day guide of what to expect on the big day will be sent to you in early March.

How do I register to use my ballot place to run for the RNLI?

If you’ve been given a ballot place by the London Marathon race organisers, you can register to fundraise for the RNLI. Please be aware we will require proof of your place.

Can the RNLI give me a place to run in the London Marathon 2019?

 There are two types of places in the London Marathon:
  • Charity places purchased by charities to give to their own runners. Applications to apply for a RNLI charity place for the London Marathon 2019 are now closed. To apply for a RNLI charity place for the London Marathon 2020, please revisit this page after 30 April 2019.
  • Ballot places given by the Virgin Money London Marathon organisers themselves. The Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 main ballot application was open from 30 April 2018 to 4 May 2018. Only the race organisers can give ballot places at the London Marathon. If you have been given a ballot place you can register to fundraise for the RNLI. RNLI ballot place registrations close on 24 April 2019.

Where will my money go?

The funds raised and donated to the RNLI generally go directly in to a central funding pot within the RNLI, so money can be allocated wherever there is greatest need and where it can do the most effective work at the time of spend.

£1,000 could buy two lifejackets to keep crews safe and afloat, a pair of yellow wellies to keep their feet dry and stable, and a pair of gloves to protect their hands.

What’s the date and location of the race? Do I have to arrange my own transport and accommodation?

The Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 takes place on Sunday 28 April 2019, starting in Greenwich Park and finishing on The Mall, central London. You’ll be sent details of your specific start time and location directly by the London Marathon race organisers nearer race day.

You are responsible for arranging your own travel and /or accommodation for the day; however, we’d suggest that you don’t leave this too late, as availability near race day will be extremely limited.  There are several companies who can arrange packages for you; the RNLI are unable to specifically recommend any companies or travel providers, visit the race organisers page for more information.

I'm injured; do I need to let you know? Can I transfer my place to someone else?

For charity place runners it's essential that you tell us as soon as possible if you have sustained an injury which means you are forced to withdraw.

Contact the Events Team - /0300 300 9995.

If you are a Ballot place runner we'd still be very grateful if you can advise us if you are no longer running the London Marathon due to injury.

Our Events Team are also available to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about the running for the RNLI please contact



Greenwich Park
SE10 8QY
United Kingdom


Start date:
Charity Place Fees:

Adult Price: £50
Minimum Pledge: £2,300