Young boy takes a break from a game of football

London Marathon Foundation

About the London Marathon Foundation

Since 1981, the London Marathon has been an extraordinary force for good, inspiring millions of people like you to participate in physical activity. 

Participants in the 2019 London Marathon raised a record-breaking £66.4 million for charities of their choice, taking the total amount raised by participants in the event to more than £1 billion since 1981.

But did you know that, after costs, 100 per cent of the annual surplus of the TCS London Marathon (and all other events organised by London Marathon Events) is gifted to the London Marathon Foundation, which then awards grants to recreational projects in London and across the UK?

Over the past four decades, the London Marathon Foundation has awarded over £100 million to more than 1,500 projects which inspire activity across the UK. That means when you enter one of our events, you are not just benefiting your own health, you are also contributing to the health and wellbeing of the nation.

London Marathon Foundation

One of the London Marathon Charitable Trust grantees

Inspiring Activity

Improving health and wellbeing

Our founders Chris Brasher and John Disley, both Olympic 3,000m steeplechase medallists, were passionate about helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

When they created 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 profits from the event should go to charity, so they created the London Marathon Foundation to distribute those profits, which now go far beyond London alone.

The London Marathon Foundation has come a long way. After the first London Marathon in 1981, it was able to award grants to seven London projects, each of £1,500. By comparison, in 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic – the London Marathon Foundation awarded £8 million to 103 projects up and down the UK.

The ambition of the London Marathon Foundation is to inspire activity and its vision is a society in which everyone is physically active, contributing to their health and wellbeing. And the grants it has awarded demonstrate this with 55 sports and activities receiving funding since 1981, ranging from athletics to archery and swimming to skateboarding.

Find out more

You can find out more about the London Marathon Foundation, its mission and some of the projects it has funded here.