Following an extensive review, London Marathon Events (LME) has announced three immediate changes to entry policies for the TCS London Marathon to make the event more inclusive.

The three new policies, effective for this year’s TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October, are:

  • Entries for assisted participants: wheelchair participants who need to be assisted/pushed by others will be allowed to enter the TCS London Marathon for the first time in 2022.
  • Pregnant and postpartum participants offered further enhanced deferral options: general entry participants, or participants with a Good For Age or Championship place in the 2022 TCS London Marathon, who are either pregnant or postpartum, will now have the opportunity to defer their marathon place to a place in the same category in any future London Marathon within a three-year window.
  • Virtual TCS London Marathon special considerations: participants in the virtual TCS London Marathon are currently required to complete the 26.2 miles in 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds on Marathon Day. From 2022 onwards, anyone who cannot participate on this day due to religious reasons will be allowed to take part in the event on the next suitable day. Furthermore, those participants with a disability that prevents them from completing the event within the time limit will be given special dispensation to complete the 26.2 miles in a time frame that is achievable for them.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the TCS London Marathon, said: “We want to make the TCS London Marathon the most diverse, equitable and inclusive marathon in the world. With this objective in mind, we have been reviewing our entry terms and conditions, and while we recognise there’s still more work to be done, we believe these changes are an important step forward.”

Entries for assisted participants

Prior to 2022, wheelchair participants in the London Marathon had to complete the 26.2 miles by themselves, unaided by anyone else.

From this year’s TCS London Marathon, a limited number of four assisted wheelchair participants will be allowed to take part with a maximum number of four support personnel helping to push them from Greenwich to Westminster. Of the four support team members, only two will be permitted to push the assisted wheelchair at any one time.

The rule change will enable participants such as Aaron Kerr, from County Down, Northern Ireland, to take part in the TCS London Marathon.

Aaron, 25, along with dad David and mum Sandra, make up Team Kerr and as a family the inspirational trio have completed 48 marathons together.

The Kerrs have been part of LME’s review process into the assisted entry conditions for the TCS London Marathon and its other events.

David Kerr said: “We completed our first marathon together in 2015 and have wanted to do the London Marathon ever since because of its iconic status. It has taken a few years but we are delighted that we’ll finally be able to take part this year on Sunday 2 October.

“Inclusion is at the very heart of what we do, so it fills us with an enormous amount of pride that Aaron and others with complex needs are now able to take part in London Marathons alongside everyone else.”

Pregnant and postpartum participants

Participants who are pregnant or postpartum will, for the first time in 2022, be able to defer their TCS London Marathon entry to a future event in a three-year period if they have either a general, Championship or Good ForAge place.

Until this year’s event, London Marathon Events’ standard policy was that Championship or Good For Age places could only be deferred to a general entry, while general entries could be deferred for any reason, but only to the next year’s edition of the event.

This new policy will enable pregnant and postpartum participants to defer their place to a subsequent year of their choice within a three-year period. This deferred place would be in the same category as their original place. For example, a Championship entry deferred in 2022 to 2024 would remain a Championship place, without the need to qualify again.

A Good For Age place deferred in 2022 to 2024 would qualify in the appropriate age category for the date of the newly selected marathon.

Furthermore, if the participant is pregnant or postpartum again for the deferral year, they will be offered a second deferral – again to the year of their choice within a new three-year period.

Finally, if a participant defers an original place for a different reason (such as injury or illness) and then is pregnant/postpartum in the following year, they will be offered a second deferral to the year of their choice within a three-year period.

No participant can defer three times for any reason.

Please note: a participant with a charity entry is not eligible to defer in this way as these places are owned by the charity.

Virtual TCS London Marathon special considerations

Since the first virtual London Marathon in 2020, participants have been required to complete the 26.2 miles on the same day as the in-person event and to finish within 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds (ie by midnight BST on the day of the London Marathon).

For the virtual 2022 TCS London Marathon, participants who are unable to complete their challenge on the same day as the in-person event due to religious reasons will be permitted to do it on the next suitable day.

Meanwhile, participants who have a disability that prevents them from completing the event within the 24-hour period will be given special dispensation to complete the 26.2 miles over a longer time period.

The changes for the 2022 TCS London Marathon are the first in a series of new measures that will be introduced in future marathons.