TCS London Marathon 2023

Join the RNLI Running Crew and take on the 2023 London Marathon!

Set yourself the ultimate challenge by running the 2023 TCS London Marathon – you’ll be a real lifesaver.

The marathon is a truly amazing experience. Whether you’re taking part in the physical or virtual marathon, use your place to make a difference. Imagine how incredible it’ll feel to cross that finish line – and we’ll be there to cheer you on.

Why run with the RNLI?

Every day of every year, people of all backgrounds get into danger around the water. It’s something that could happen to anyone, and it’s a problem we’re here to tackle. And you can be a part of that. You can help keep the communities you care about safe and reunite hundreds of people with their families. People whose lives may depend on us. That’s something worth running 26.2 miles for, right?

We know exactly what it takes to face a challenge – whether it’s powering through a storm or setting a personal best. So, why not choose to be part of the RNLI running crew, take on the challenge, and race to save lives? It would be great to have you with us, and we’ll help you reach that finish line.  

In 2023 the London Marathon will be a hybrid event consisting of the iconic physical event and the virtual marathon. Run for the RNLI in either event and you’ll raise vital funds to kit and train our lifesavers.

There are a few ways to run with us in 2023:

Charity places

Ballot places

If you are lucky enough to get a place in the London Marathon ballot, we'd love you to join the RNLI Running Crew. All you have to do is register your ballot place with us. There is no minimum fundraising target - just raise as much as you can.

A marathon runner, wearing an orange RNLI vest, high fives his cheering supporters

Photo: RNLI/Laura Lewis

Run the marathon with the RNLI and you’ll be a real lifesaver

The London Marathon’s had an extraordinary impact since beginning in 1981, inspiring profound social change, compelling people to take up running and raising over £1B for good causes. It’s one of the top five World Marathon Majors and incredibly popular, with 80,000 participants in 2021!  

Whether you’re taking on the distance in London or locally, you’re in for a fantastic experience.  
If you’re lucky to take on the physical race, 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. 

Running the virtual? You will be running with thousands of others taking on this marathon distance at home. Pull on your friends and family to cheer you on, plus we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Ready to run? Want to help save lives? Join our RNLI Running Crew!

Drowning is a much bigger problem than people realise. 

Worldwide, drowning claims an estimated 320,000 lives every year. It’s a leading killer in low- and middle-income countries, even though the causes are often easily preventable. 

Here in the UK and Ireland, we work hard to prevent people from getting into trouble in the first place. But when they do, they need our help – and they need it fast. 

By running with us in the London Marathon, you’ll raise vital funds to kit and train our lifesavers. You’ll help us reach more people with drowning prevention advice. And you’ll bring even more people home safely.

You're in good company

When you run with the RNLI in London, you’ll be running along the busy River Thames – home to four lifeboat stations. The stations are Tower in central London, Chiswick in west London, Teddington in south-west London, and Gravesend in north-west Kent. Tower is the busiest of all our 238 lifeboat stations. 

If you’re taking on the distance at home, we can link you up with your local lifeboat station!

Together we can save lives

Running a marathon is as big a feat as weathering the storm to save lives at sea. When you’re out training in all weathers, our lifesavers will be too. When you need encouragement and reassurance, we’ll be there for you, as we always are. And when our lifesavers race to the rescue, you’ll be racing with them. 

To find out more about the RNLI and our lifesaving work, take a look at our online magazine for rescue stories, the latest on our lifeboats and interviews with our lifesavers.

Three crew members, in full kit, run towards the camera

Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

Our crews are racing to the rescue, will you race with them?

From your first run to crossing the finish line, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Here’s what you can expect from us:

As you train

  • You’ll get exclusive access to our training videos with running experts. 
  • You can join our RNLI Runners Facebook group to share tips and advice with your fellow runners.
  • You’ll also get access to useful marathon training plans, so – whatever your ability – you can reach your goal.

As you fundraise

  • We'll give you everything you need to reach your fundraising target, from downloadable resources to fundraising ideas.
  • You'll get an RNLI fundraising T-shirt!
  • Our Events Team are here for you if have any questions along the way.

On the big day

  • You’ll get an RNLI-branded running vest to wear. A reminder that you’re running for a great cause can give you a huge boost during the race. 
  • We’ll be there to give you a huge cheer as you run! Virtually or at one of our cheer stations!
  • You can request a goody bag, with special cheer gear for your proud supporters.

After the race

At the London event, you, your friends and family will be invited to our Race Day Hub, where you can get a sports massage and enjoy a very well-deserved buffet.

Any time

We like to treat our runners - after all, we're incredibly grateful you choose to run with us! You’ll get access to some exclusive partner discounts – once you've registered your ballot place or secured a charity place, we'll email you the details. You can also contact our Events Team at [email protected].

The RNLI Cheer Team shout encouragement at the marathon runners

Credit: RNLI/Laura Lewis

We’ll cheer you on – every step of the way

We need volunteers like you to support and cheer on our brilliant runners.It promises to be a wonderful day – the energy and excitement at the marathon is incredible. You’ll leave feeling inspired by the runners and proud that you helped to raise money for our courageous RNLI lifesavers.  

The perks of volunteering

There are several perks. If you volunteer with the RNLI, you’ll:

  • get light refreshments
  • receive a bag of RNLI goodies, including an RNLI T-shirt
  • get to know some of the wonderful people involved – like our runners, their families, RNLI staff and some lifeboat crew
  • boost your CV with some valuable volunteering experience.

What can I do?

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!

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.


You'll get all of the information you need closer to the day, but if you have any queries about volunteering at the London Marathon, talk to us at [email protected]

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.

Can the RNLI give me a place to run in the London Marathon 2023?

There are two types of places in the London Marathon:

  • Charity places are purchased by charities to give to their own runners. Applications for an RNLI charity place for the London Marathon 2023 are now open. To apply for an RNLI charity place for the 2023 London Marathon, please apply here. 
  • Ballot places are given by the TCS London Marathon organisers themselves. The TCS London Marathon 2023 ballot places will be announced later this year. Only the race organisers can give ballot places at the London Marathon. If you have been given a ballot place or have deferred from a previous year, you can register to fundraise for the RNLI.  

If I register to use my ballot place for the RNLI, how much money do I have to pledge 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 an online fundraising page to make accepting sponsorship money easier for you. If you’re offered a charity place with us, your page will be set up for you automatically - all you need to do is update it with your reasons for running the marathon for the RNLI.

What support will I receive if I register to use my ballot place to run for the RNLI?

Once you’ve registered your ballot place or been allocated a charity place, we’ll support you through your London Marathon journey. Before the big day, you’ll get training, fundraising and media tips by email, a fundraising T-shirt, cheer gear for your supporters and an RNLI running vest. On the big day, you’ll be boosted by our two cheering stations and invited to attend our Race Day Hub, 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 ahead of the race. 

Our Events Team are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the running for the RNLI - get in touch at [email protected]

What support will I receive for the virtual race? 

You’ll receive almost the same support as our physical event runners!  

Once you’ve registered your place, we’ll support you through your London Marathon journey. Before the big day, you’ll get training, fundraising and media tips by email, a fundraising T-shirt, cheer gear for your supporters and an RNLI running vest.

We’ll help to connect you with RNLI reps and stations near you to support you with your fundraising! 

Our Events Team are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the running for the RNLI - get in touch at [email protected].

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

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

This applies to both the physical or virtual event.

Where will my money go?

Generally, funds raised and donated to us go directly into a central funding pot within the RNLI. This money goes towards things like kitting and training our lifesavers, powering our lifeboats and maintaining our stations. It could fund our education volunteers who share vital safety information with the public. It could help keep our beaches safe with RNLI lifeguards.

How can my money make a difference?

If you raise £2,238, that could kit out three lifeboat crew volunteers with a helmet to protect their heads, a lifejacket to keep them afloat, and a pair of seagoing gloves to protect their hands and keep them warm. This essential kit is paramount to their safety – and the safety of those they rescue.
Questions about how your money makes a difference? We’re always happy to chat! Talk to us at [email protected].

To help you prepare for the London Marathon, we’ll send you a link to some handy resources for you to download. There are sponsorship forms, posters and social media graphics to promote your fundraising efforts, as well as useful training plans to stay on track. 

Remember to check out our fundraising guide, which includes information on how to submit money and raise awareness of the RNLI.

We’re with you all the way. So, if you have any questions, please get in touch on 0300 3009 918 (01 895 1850 if you’re in Ireland), or [email protected].



Greenwich Park
SE10 8EJ


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