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 (LMEL) would go to The Trust in perpetuity.

Chris and John established both organisations with the following 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 impact 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 tandem to deliver the greatest possible impact in terms of our shared vision and values.

    The London Marathon remains the property of LMEL, and it is the success of the London Marathon that 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 and surplus generated by LMEL is gifted to The Trust. All of The Trust’s income is used to further The Trust’s charitable objectives.

    London Marathon Events Ltd

    London Marathon Events Ltd organises the TCS London Marathon in addition to the following iconic mass participation sporting events:

    After costs, the surplus generated from 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 which challenge inequality of access to physical activity.

    For further information about LMEL events, please email helpdesk@londonmarathonevents.co.uk.

    The aims of London Marathon Events Ltd

    The work and vision of LMEL are shaped by its core objectives:

    • To have fun and provide some happiness and a sense of achievement in a troubled world
    • To show the world that, on occasions, humanity can be united
    • To inspire more people to take up sport
    • To maximise revenue for charities
    • To improve the overall standard and status of British distance running
    • To raise money for the provision of recreational facilities in London, the areas where we organise events and across the UK
    • To help London tourism
    • To show when it comes to organising events, “Britain is best”
    • To inspire and deliver innovation in mass participation event sustainability

    London Marathon Events Ltd’s work to support charities

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

    Since the London Marathon began in 1981, participants have raised more than £1 billion, which has gone directly to their chosen charities. The 2019 London Marathon alone raised a record-breaking £66.4 million for charity, setting a new world record for an annual single-day fundraising event for an incredible thirteenth year in a row.

    Since the event was first held in 2013, RideLondon has also raised more than £80 million for charity. The 2018 event in itself raised £13 million for charity, setting a new European fundraising record for a cycling event and beating the previous record of £12.75 million from the 2017 RideLondon.