It’s that time of year. You’re out on the school run and someone flies past you in snazzy neon trainers; or you’re ambling to the local shop and you get overtaken by a flash of lycra. Whichever way you look, people are putting in the miles and gearing up. But when is the London Marathon […]

It’s that time of year. You’re out on the school run and someone flies past you in snazzy neon trainers; or you’re ambling to the local shop and you get overtaken by a flash of lycra. Whichever way you look, people are putting in the miles and gearing up. But when is the London Marathon 2018?

Well, on Sunday 22nd April 2018, professional runners and jogging newbies alike will be heading to the big smoke to put in the performance of their lives at the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Whether they plan to take it slow with a mix of jogging and walking; or they’re gunning for a PB, determined people from all walks of life will be pounding the streets of the Capital. And you could be with them every step of the way…

Before we get stuck into all the different ways to be involved, we’ll answer some key questions about the London Marathon 2018:

How long is the London Marathon?

Not for the faint-hearted, it’s a mahoosive 26.2 miles long (makes you sweaty just thinking about it).

What time does the London Marathon start?

Here’s rundown of all race start times for the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon:
08.55 – Elite wheelchair races
09.00 – World Para Athletics Marathon World Cup ambulant races
09.15 – Elite women’s race
10.00 – Elite men’s race, British Athletics & England Athletics Marathon Championships and mass race

Where does the London Marathon start and finish?

The race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes in The Mall alongside St James’s Park. The route is mainly flat and hasn’t really changed much since the very first London Marathon in 1981.

How many people run the London Marathon?

A record 386,050 people applied to run in this year’s London Marathon, but usually around 40,000 people get a place. According to data from last year, the biggest-ever number of competitors took part in 2017, and 40,382 people were on the gruelling 26.2-mile run (that’s 1,242 more than in 2016!).

You may not be running it, but you can still be part the action. Keep up to speed with these options:

Watch it on TV

If you’re not planning to travel to London and cheer the runners on, you can rest up on the sofa and catch all the action live on the BBC. BBC One will have coverage from 8.30am on race day, and with the Red Button feature you can watch the elite races from start to finish from 8.50am.

Watch it on your phone

You can also watch all the amateur runners complete the 26.2-mile course with a special Finish Line stream, available on the BBC Sport website. So, if you’re out and about and have your smartphone handy you won’t miss a thing.

And of course, if you can spare the time when you’re on the go, just watch it all via TVPlayer. As long as you’ve got a Wi-Fi connection you can stream for free with Go Binge on Three.

Download the Virgin Money London Marathon app

The official app has loads of exciting features. If you’re supporting someone special, you can find and track them along an interactive course map. You’ll be able to keep up with split times, finishing positions and results throughout the day. The app will even predict what time your runner will reach the next 5K checkpoint based on their current pace.

If you’re in the heart of London cheering someone on, you can use the tracking feature to make sure you make it to the best viewing points in time to support them. And if you’re taking part and want to be one step ahead of the pack you can use the app to locate first aid points, drinks stations, live bands and pubs before you set off. It basically has everything you could possibly need for race day. Just search ‘Virgin Money London Marathon’ in the App Store or Google Play and download it for free.

Bitten by the running bug? Check out these apps:

If all this talk about running has got you inspired, now is the time to get stuck in. You may not have made it into this year’s marathon but there are plenty of local and national runs you can enter throughout the year to get your blood pumping and your quads trembling.

By using a running app on your smartphone, you can plan some serious training and set yourself goals. We love MapMyRun which has more than 70 million routes and a tracker that records distance, pace, elevation, calories burned, and more. It also integrates with wearable gadgets like the Gear Fit2, Fitbit Charge 2 or Jawbone UP3 that track your activity and your sleep, and monitor your heart rate too. And if you’ve got the My Fitness Pal app on your phone, you can sync your diet and exercise info together for the ultimate health kick.

The nifty Ghostracer app is perfect for giving you motivation in the last weeks before any race day because it finds you an opponent and pits you against their times. The pressure is on.

Your race day soundtrack

If you’re used to training to music then you’re probably ready for the run of your life with the perfect playlist lined up on your smartphone. Don’t forget that with Go Binge on Three you can stream from Deezer, Soundcloud and Apple Music for free. Start off with some lively pop to get you in the zone and then just make sure you keep the rhythm pumping.

But do you have the earphones to do it all justice? It’s worth checking out the Jaybird In-ear Bluetooth Headphones , because these beauties are wireless, comfy and give you awesome audio. They’re basically designed and built for runners.

Or how about the Jabra Sport Pace headphones which are also wireless; giving you a secure fit and premium sound in a super-cool, super-sporty neon yellow.

Are you running in the London Marathon 2018?

If you’re taking part this year, hopefully you’re not asking yourself “When is the London Marathon?” (GULP). So all that’s left to do is send you a virtual high five and wish you all the luck in the world. Get carb-loading and we’ll see you at the finish line!