Organisers of the Virgin Money London Marathon have made changes to Good for Age qualification process to ensure a closer ratio of applications from men and women.

Last year’s marathon in the UK capital saw 53,229 people registered to participate, of which 31,830 were men and 21,399 were women.

Among the changes, male runners aged between 18 and 39 will now need to run a sub 3-hour marathon within the qualifying window in order to have ‘a chance’ of making the start line.

For 2018’s event, which takes place on Sunday (April 22), men were required to have previously ran a sub 3:05 marathon and the entry was guaranteed.

The time for female runners within this age group stays as it was at 3:45.

Unlike in previous years, meeting the qualifying time for your age category does not guarantee entry into the event, but simply the opportunity to submit an application, as entries for the 2019 event will be capped at a total of 6,000.

This will be split evenly with 3,000 entries for women and 3,000 entries for men, and if more than 3000 men or women submit an application, the quickest will be chosen.

Instead of the age category of 41-49, this is now split to 40-44 and 45-49. The previous time for qualifying for men was 3:15, but this is now 3:05 (40-44) and 3:10 (45-49).

The qualifying period to achieve a Good for Age time has been extended to one year and seven months. Runners applying for a Good for Age time in the 2019 London Marathon must achieve the qualifying time between 1 January 2017 and 10 August 2018. As previously, Good for Age entry is only for UK residents.

Event Director Hugh Brasher said: “A Good for Age place in the Virgin Money London Marathon is a hugely prized route to entry to the world’s greatest marathon and runners work hard to achieve the qualifying times.

“We think it is right there is gender parity and more ages groups for Good for Age applicants.”

More information can be found here and below is the Good for Age qualifying times for this 2018 and 2019.

2019 good for age qualifying times

Age – men/women
18-39: sub 3:00 / sub 3:45
40-44: sub 3:05 / sub 3:50
45-49: sub 3:10 / sub 3:53
50-54: sub 3:15 / sub 4:00
55-59: sub 3:20 / sub 4:05
60-64: sub 3:45 / sub 4:30

2018 good for age qualifying times

Age – men/women
18-40: sub 3:05 / sub 3:45
41-49: sub 3:15 / sub 3:50
50-59: sub 3:20 / sub 4:00
60-64: sub 3:45 / sub 4:30