About us

History of The London Marathon Charitable Trust and How We Operate

When Chris Brasher and John Disley founded the London Marathon in 1981, one of their six founding aims was to raise money for sport and recreational facilities in London. Their vision was that the surplus from the London Marathon and all future events organised by London Marathon Events Ltd would go to The Trust in perpetuity.

Chris and John established both organisations with complementary aims:

  • London Marathon Events Ltd is constantly working to grow and improve the mass-participation sporting events it organises, the amounts raised by participants for charities and the positive impacts generated by inspiring people to take up sport. 
  • The London Marathon Charitable Trust provides funding to enable people to become and remain physically active, and to challenge inequality of access to physical activity. 

The two organisations work in complementary ways to deliver the greatest possible impact in terms of our shared vision and values.

The London Marathon remains the property of LMEL and the success of the London Marathon has enabled LMEL to stage world-class mass-participation sporting events in London. Since its founding, the London Marathon has been an extraordinary force for good that has inspired millions of people to participate in physical activity. 

The Trust is the sole shareholder of LMEL. Surplus generated by LMEL is gifted to The Trust. All of The Trust’s income is used to further The Trust’s charitable objects.

London Marathon Events Limited

London Marathon Events Limited organises the Virgin Money London Marathon and other iconic mass-participation sporting events: 

None Vitality Big Half
None Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon
None Virgin Money London Marathon
None Vitality Westminster Mile
None Vitality London 10,000
None Standard Chartered Great City Race
None Swim Serpentine

After costs, the surplus generated through these events is gifted to The London Marathon Charitable Trust. The Trust uses these funds to award grants to organisations and projects which enable people to become and remain physically active and challenge inequality of access to physical activity. 

In addition, the Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling is organised by the London & Surrey Cycling Partnership LLP (LSCP) for the Mayor of London and his agencies. London Marathon Events Ltd holds 75 per cent of the equity and income of LSCP. All entry fees bequested by riders unsuccessful in the ballot for the sportives in the event go directly from LSCP to The Trust. In addition, London Marathon Events Limited’s portion of the profits made by LSCP are gifted to The Trust.

For further information on London Marathon Events Limited events, please email: helpdesk@londonmarathonevents.co.uk

Founding pillars

Chris Brasher and John Disley drew up six founding pillars when they created the London Marathon. These are:

  1. To improve the overall standard and status of British marathon running by providing a fast course and strong international competition 
  2. To show to mankind that, on occasions, the ‘family of man’ can be united 
  3. To raise money for the provision of recreational facilities in London 
  4. To help London tourism 
  5. To prove that when it comes to organising major events, ‘Britain is best’
  6. To have fun and provide some happiness and sense of achievement in a troubled world 

London Marathon Events Limited’s work to support charities

London Marathon Events Limited is extremely proud of its work supporting charities to raise money for worthwhile causes. Many of those who take on the challenge of completing an event decide to use their participation as an opportunity to raise funds for charity.

Since the London Marathon began in 1981, runners have raised over £950 million, which has gone directly to their selected charities.

The London Marathon holds the world record for the largest annual single day fundraising event. The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon raised a record-breaking £63.7 million for charity, setting a new world record for an annual single day fundraising event for an incredible 12th successive year. 

Since the event was first held in 2013, Prudential RideLondon has raised more than £53 million for charity. The 2017 event raised £12.75 million for charity to set a new European record for a cycling event, beating the previous record of £12 million.