The answers are various: Easter (some years), snow (some years), April Fool’s Day (every year) and since the 1980s, the London Marathon. This year it takes place on 24 April, the day after St George’s Day.


This 26.2 mile extravaganza has always been as much about the city as about the race - it’s an astonishing charity fund-raising event, a fancy dress extravaganza and increasingly a party for those who love the event - whether you choose to compete, watch it on the streets of London or throw a TV watching party for family and friends.




If you’re going to support somebody who’s running in the marathon, make sure you read one of the many guides to where to watch the marathon and take note of the instructions about when to be in the location, what to pack and what to expect of the race marshals who are around to help you have a fun and safe marathon watching experience.


If you’re watching at home, why not try some of the party games we’ve devised?


Marathon party games


Marathon Bingo


Give people sheets with marathon keywords on them: blisters, cobbles, water bottle, fancy dress, runner, limping, portaloo, leading pack, front runners, wheelchair race, Tower Hill etc … the first one to fill up their bingo sheet wins a prize.


Outlaw words


This is a more active game. Give everybody a word that is overused during the commentary (the same list as you used for the bingo is fine) and when their word is said by a commentator they have to stand up and jog on the spot until somebody else’s word is spoken. You’ll feel like you’ve run a marathon if you play this one.


London Marathon competitors


If you’re running - make sure you’ve broken in your shoes and costume - especially if you’re running in fancy dress. Practice grabbing drinks from the tables which can be really difficult if your vision is obstructed by a costume or you’re wearing gloves etc. And good luck - we’ll be watching out for you!