But if you are one of the tens of thousands of people who missed out on a place, don't put your trainers away just yet as a host of charities have guaranteed places available for the race on April 16.

Scope, which helps people with cerebral palsy, is looking for anyone from experienced runners to people prepared to dress as clowns. Each runner needs to raise £1,000 in sponsorship - call 0500 575222 for details.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is also asking its runners to raise at least £1,000. Call Claire Cooper on 0171 720 8055 for details on securing a place.

Run for the National Autistic Society and you could get a free after-race massage and be in with the chance to win a trip to Florida. Call 0171 903 3532 to apply for a place.

Kith and Kids, which helps children with disabilities and their families, has a limited number of places available for people who pledge to raise £1,250. Call 0181 262 0037.

Also with places available is the Kent Association for the Blind which provides help, training and support for blind and partially sighted people. Call Simon Parsons on 01622 691357.

Many charities are also asking people who have secured places to raise money on their behalf and include the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. Call 01865 875757, or e-mail oxford@anthonynolan.com for details.

St John Ambulance - which provides 1,300 volunteers for the Marathon to hand out drinks, massage and first aid - wants to hear from runners who have secured a place but not chosen to run for charity. Call Virginia Lawrence on 0171 235 5231 for information.

Marie Curie Cancer Care has prepared an information pack for runners who would like to raise funds for the charity - call Ali Rix on 0171 963 4100.

Also seeking support is Age Concern, which is also offering prizes for people raising more than £1,000. For an information pack and sponsor form, call 0181 765 7603.

The hospice charity the Ellenor Foundation is also looking for people to help raise cash for providing nurses to care for people at home. Call Ross White on 01474 321717.

And, finally, the Bobby Moore Fund for Imperial Cancer Research is hoping to have a 50-strong team in action.

The highest fundraiser will be given a framed photograph signed by Bobby Moore when the England World Cup winning captain made his debut against Manchester United in 1958.

The fund organisers have also secured a limited number of gold band places for runners who were not originally accepted and you could get one if you can raise at least £2,000.

Call Kerry Silver on 0171 269 3412 for an information pack.