Run the London Marathon for McPin!

The ballot may be closed but it’s not too late to secure your place in support of mental health research

Image: Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Want to be in the running?

Whether it’s to clear your head, keep fit, or because during lockdown you realised leggings are about 4000% more comfortable than normal trousers and things just escalated from there, running is pretty important to many of us – which is probably why over 200,000 people entered this year’s London Marathon ballot.

Three quarters of those who applied may have been unsuccessful, but all is not lost – there’s still a chance to bag yourself a spot in the legendary race, and to run it for an amazing cause!

That’s right, the rumours are true – McPin has five spots to allocate for the London Marathon 2021, giving you another shot at 26.2 miles of glucose-fuelled glory.

Support mental health research

Whether you could give Eddie Izzard a run for his money, or just took up jogging in an attempt to feel something last year, a marathon is no mean feat. However, aside from personal satisfaction and the envy of those around you, running for McPin offers another good reason to get involved.

If your application to run for us is successful, you’ll be championing mental health research that puts people with lived experience at its heart.

So, whether you have personal experience of mental health problems, know someone who has, or just want to do something exceptional after a year where we couldn’t do anything much at all, your fundraising efforts will support a cause that impacts so many of us.

Image: Emma Simpson from Unsplash

The nitty gritty

If reading this is making you wistful for the open road – or, more accurately, the backstreets of Blackheath – then read on; here’s what you need to know.

To apply you just need to fill in this application form telling us why you want to support McPin by Friday 9th July. Then just pop it over to with a £50 non-refundable application fee, which everyone who enters the marathon has to pay. The money will be returned to you if your application isn’t successful.

We have five places up for grabs – two in the traditional race and three in the virtual, which was piloted last year and gives 24 hours to run the 26.2 miles wherever you like.

If you’re selected you also agree to raise £1,000 for McPin, or make up any shortfall yourself. To put this in perspective, runners are typically asked to raise £2,000 for their chosen charity, so it’s yet another great reason to get stuck in.

The marathon takes place on the 3rd October 2021 and, as it’s a whopping 26.2 miles, we do ask that you only apply if you think you’ll be able to carry out training and safely manage the distance by then.

Finally, please share the opportunity with your contacts and any keen runners you know – places are open to anyone who wants to support us and mental health research.

Hit the ground running with your application

To get started you just need to complete this easy application form and send it to by Friday 9th July.

You’ll be asked a little bit about yourself and why you’d like to run for McPin. We want to know what makes you tick, and what motivation’s going to get you through the next few months of training and over the finish line.

It might be because you, or someone you know, has had experience of mental health problems. This can make the experience even more meaningful – but don’t worry, you only have to share as much information with us as you feel comfortable with.

We also want to know what your training plan between now and October would be, so we can be confident you’ll be able to safely complete the run, and whether you’d be happy to be featured in McPin communications, such as social media, during the process.

Finally, the form asks you about how you plan to raise the minimum £1,000 sponsorship for McPin – or more, if you feel you can. Please consider carefully whether you think you’ll have the time to do this as you’ll have to make up any shortfall yourself. However, if you get started as soon as your spot is confirmed and take advantage of some of the marathon’s fundraising tips, it’s definitely doable.

There are limited spaces, and demand is high – we’ll choose our five successful runners based on the strength of their applications, so please be as detailed as possible.

We’ll let successful applicants know by 19th August. Good luck!

Download the application form here:

For more information or to submit your application email us at