Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

The London Marathon is a truly iconic event attracting athletes of all abilities from around the globe. Every year, thousands of runners like you choose to take on this fantastic challenge to raise vital funds for charity.

If you have your own London Marathon 2019 ballot place

We’d love to welcome you to #TeamShootingStar. You’ll get the same level of support as a Shooting Star Children’s Hospices Gold Bond runner including training guidance, on the day transport and your very own cheer squad along the route! Simply let our Challenge Events Team know so we can send you a pack: call 01932 823100, or email us at

Already running the London Marathon for us?

Download our on the day guide for all the information you’ll need ahead of the day. We look forward to cheering you on!

“It was a pleasure and an honour to run on your behalf. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Karen’s support over the last few months and your team’s support on the day was a huge help, so thank you to you all too.”

If you need more information please contact the Challenge Events Team on 01932 823100 or email

To help you prepare for this fantastic achievement, we welcome you to join our #TeamShootingStar monthly marathon training runs, led by our fantastic trainers.

David Clarke: Loyal supporter, qualified athletics coach and ex-GB runner!

What inspired you to start running?
“I loved all sports at school but discovered I was best at running, ending up running for my school in a lot of races and even making the English Schools XC champs!”
What has been your best running moment?
“Winning my first XC championships.”
What has been your worst running moment?
“Being passed by the 3 hour pace maker with 1.5 miles to go of the 2016 London Marathon – I wanted to finish in under 3 hours and never run another marathon!”
What not to do the night before the marathon?


Francesca Clarke: Wife of David, avid runner and dedicated Shooting Star Children’s Hospices supporter!

What inspired you to start running?
“Meeting my husband; it meant I could spend more time with him, as in – if you can’t beat them, join them!”
What has been your best running moment?
“My first marathon 3:13.”
What has been your worst running moment?
“Sitting in a portaloo at the Reading Half, with less than a mile to go. David was shouting at me outside to hurry up!”
What not to do the night before the marathon? 
“Attempt to stick your name on your vest and melt the letters! Have a curry! Drink 12 beers!”



Paul Chandler: An inspiring runner who’s taken on many races with his son; forming a dynamic duo!

What inspired you to start running?
“Dominic my son inspired me to start running, he is now 11 and he, as well as my family, have been supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices for 9 years.”
What has been your best running moment?
“My best running moment was in partnership with Dominic becoming the first assisted team in the UK (me pushing him in a wheelchair) to complete an ultra marathon.”
What has been your worst running moment?
“My worst running moment was after flying to Washington to complete the Marine Corps marathon only to slip a disc in my lower back at mile 6 and have to record a DNF, a long way to go for a 10km.”
What not to do the night before the marathon? 
“The night before a marathon don’t expect to sleep, ensure you sleep well a couple of days before and don’t doubt yourself, as the night before a marathon you cannot train any harder or do any different.”

At Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, we truly appreciate the dedication that comes with training for a marathon. Whether you are a novice or an experienced marathon runner, the distance of 26.2 miles is no mean feat. It is important that you arrive at the starting line in Greenwich Park feeling healthy, well prepared and ready to go!

It is our privilege to support you every step of the way. To help with your training we offer:

• A snazzy Shooting Star Children’s Hospices technical running vest.
• Monthly training runs lead by a qualified athletics coach and ex-GB runner.
• A discount will be offered to our team on full-price items at local branches of the Sweatshop.
• A visit to one of our hospices, either Shooting Star House in Hampton or Christopher’s in Guildford. These visits give an incredible insight into our care services.
• Training your mind for the marathon. A session to help you to mentally prepare for running 26.2 miles and feeling well before, during and after your marathon.

We want you to enjoy the experience of running the London Marathon for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, from the very start to the time you cross the finish line. We are on hand should you have any queries about your training, so please do keep in touch. You can also download Uncle Bobble’s top running tips plus Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Training Plans produced by the Virgin London Marathon.

“The support from your charity getting these 26.2 miles run was amazing. The encouraging emails, the training runs in Richmond Park with Karen always there smiling whatever the weather, the support on the day, the welcome in Central Hall… it means a lot and makes the whole experience a whole lot easier. So thank you.”

We understand that our fundraising request of £2,000 for a Gold Bond place can seem a little daunting. But, we know that your friends, family and colleagues will appreciate the hard work that you are putting in as you train for your run and will want to get behind you and show their support. Even if you are running with your own place and so do not have a set fundraising target, we are here to help you make the most of this opportunity to raise money to support our vital work.

Here are some examples of how your fundraising can help:

£250 could pay for a visit by a Hospice at Home nurse during an emergency, providing vital support to a child and giving parents a few precious hours to themselves.
• £1,500 could pay for a night’s emergency stay at one of our hospices.
• £5,000 could pay for a bereavement weekend for siblings.

When you join our team, we will send you our Fundraising Guide which includes useful information about setting-up your online sponsorship page. For any offline donations that you receive you can download a copy of our sponsorship form. Please have a look at the fundraising tips and the list of equipment available to borrow, if you are holding an event. Remember, we are always happy to help and to chat about any fundraising ideas you may have.

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you to both of you for your support leading up to and on the day of the London Marathon. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I’d do it all again without hesitation.”

Running the London Marathon is an amazing experience and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. You’ve done the hard work, your training is over and now it’s time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the day!

To help you to make the most of your Marathon day, we will:

  • Provide transport to Blackheath, so that you can travel together and have one less thing to worry about
  • Set-up two cheering points along the route to cheer your on. Our volunteers are enthusiastic and colourful in their support and your friends are very welcome to join them
  • Invite you to join us for a post-race reception at Central Hall, Westminster, where you can have a hot meal, a shower and a well-deserved massage. This is a great place to meet your supporters and celebrate your fantastic achievement of completing the 2019 London Marathon!

“The whole experience has been extremely rewarding and seeing all of you along the embankment at mile 24 when I was really struggling to keep going, gave me the final push to get over the finish line so I can’t thank you all enough for camping out for hours at that point as I wouldn’t have finished without you all.

Here are some of the FAQs we have been asked over the years, by runners and their supporters. This list is by no means exhaustive so if you have a query about any aspect of your training, fundraising or what happens on the big day, please do get in touch; we are always happy to help.

Can I visit the hospice?
We believe that it is important for you to have the opportunity to see how the money you are working so hard to raise, will make such a positive difference to the children and their families who we support. We arrange a visit for our team to both Shooting Star House and Christopher’s, usually on a Sunday afternoon around late February/early March. Dates will be sent out later in 2019 and also be available on this website.

I have moved since I registered for the event. Who do I advise of my new address?
If you move house or change your email address, it is important to let us know and to advise London Marathon directly at: You will receive useful information by both post and email and we really do not want you to miss anything.

When will I receive my running number?
The London Marathon will not send out running numbers in the post. You will need to collect your number and race pack at the Expo, which is held at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands, between the Wednesday and Saturday leading up to race day. Runners should attend themselves, but if this is not possible you can nominate someone to collect the race pack for you. Full details will be given on the LM website nearer to the time.

Where will your cheer points be and can my friends join them?
We will have two cheering points along the route to encourage you on your run. They are usually set-up on Tower Bridge, which is approximately half-way around the course and along Victoria Embankment, close to the mile 25 marker. Our volunteers are extremely enthusiastic and really get into the spirit of the day! Your friends and family are very welcome to join them for however long they wish. We will send out details of how to join our cheering points before the big day.

You can download further information here