Cutty Sark and the London Marathon

The London Marathon is one of the world’s greatest sporting events – not just for the physical challenge, but also because it is the world’s biggest one-day annual fundraising event. In 2019, a record number of people - 414,168 - applied to run the marathon, making it the most popular marathon in the world. 42,906 runners took part in the iconic race.

Each year, Royal Museums Greenwich allocates 5 exclusive and guaranteed Golden Bond places for runners to take part in the marathon, raising money for the preservation of the iconic Cutty Sark. Since the start of the London Marathon in 1981, she has been the first major landmark encountered by runners on the route.

Why run for the Cutty Sark?

The world’s sole-surviving tea clipper, she was the fastest and greatest of her time. Launched in 1869 Cutty Sark was celebrated for her famous 19th century design which enabled her to break records for speed, size and sail strength. The unique streamlined shame of her hull and iron frame created more space for her precious cargo.

The Grade I listed vessel has survived 149 years, 2 World Wars and a great fire. She has served many purposes; from tea clipper to wool shipper, from training Royal and Merchant Navy cadets and officers to standing today as a proud memorial to the Merchant Navy.

A true survivor of the seas - having braved storms, the perilous waters of Cape Horn, war, fire, murder and mutiny - she continues to tell stories of life on board through educational activities for schools and an expanding programme of family events.

The work continues

The collective team target could make a significant difference to us. The money raised by Team Cutty Sark will go towards securing the future learning programmes on the ship.

Cutty Sark’s award winning learning team (recognised with a Sandford Award for Excellence in Heritage Education) deliver a busy Schools Programme and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Programme, as well as an expanding calendar of family events. Children are engaged with subjects spanning the National Curriculum, through the lens of maritime history, have the opportunity to speak to important characters from the ship’s history and 

Cutty Sark’s very essence of daring and adventure makes her the perfect inspiration to align your personal challenge of running the Virgin Money London Marathon.

As her original owner John ‘Jock’ Willis’s family motto fittingly displays on the gilded ‘gingerbread’ of the ship;

‘Where there’s a Willis a way’


Date: Sunday 3 October 2021

Registration fee: £100 to secure your place

Minimum sponsorship: £1500

Deadline for registration: February 2021


As part of Team Cutty Sark you will receive:

  • Personalised running vest
  • Regular team emails
  • Fundraising pack 
  • Inspiration and motivation from team on the day!

Booking for this event has now closed.