Competition to design the 18-mile marker for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon

The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, in collaboration with London Marathon Events Ltd, is pleased to invite Part 1 architecture students and Part 1 graduates from the United Kingdom to take part in a competition for the design of the Virgin Money London Marathon 18-Mile marker.

The competition is free to enter and there are no requirements to submit any physical models or expensive print outs.

We are looking for bold and innovative designs that celebrate Stephen’s life and all that the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has achieved in his name, inspiring and supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter architecture and other careers.  The marker is also a chance to celebrate the very first national Stephen Lawrence Day, which will encourage and support young people in achieving their dreams. The marker design will be featured at the world’s leading marathon as a statement of ambition, creativity and imagination.

The competition will be held in two stages. Stage 1 is an ideas competition, where entrants are asked to develop a high-level concept design that proposes a strong idea for the mile marker.  Those short-listed for the second stage will spend a day at the Arena Group factory, the company that produces the marathon mile markers.   The visit will give the shortlisted entrants a better understanding about the general assembly process of marker structures and they will learn about the constraints attached to the marker design.  At the end of Stage 2, entrants will be asked to present their designs to a judging panel including Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

Working with the Virgin Money London Marathon operations team and Arena Group, the competition winner will have the opportunity to develop the proposal for the mile marker further to an actual construction design.

The proposed mile marker will be installed at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, enjoyed by 40,000 runners and seen by a global audience.

To encourage as wide a range of entrants as possible and to ensure that all eligible students can take part, entry to the competition is free, only digital documents and no hard copies are needed, and travel expenses to the factory day and panel presentation will be paid.

Key Dates

  • Registration: 01/10/2018 – 21/10/2018 at midnight (3 weeks)
  • Stage 1: 22/10/2018 – 11/11/2018 at midnight (3 weeks)
  • Stage 2: 19/11/2018 – 09/12/2018 at midnight- (3 weeks)
  • Factory visit to Arena Group: week beginning 21/11/2018
  • Presentation to the judging panel: week beginning 10/12/2018
  • Announcement of the winner: Before Christmas
  • Construction design development of winning proposal: 07/01/2019 – 01/02/2019 (4 weeks)
  • Virgin Money London Marathon Day: 28/04/2019
Mile Marker Brief


  • You must register in order to enter the competition.
  • In order to register, please email and put ‘register’ in the subject line.
  • You need to include your full name and the full name of any other people included on your team (up to 4 people per team).
  • We will accept a scanned copy of student ID.
  • No individual is allowed to register twice.

Please note that registration closes at midnight on 21st October 2018.
We regret that we cannot accept any entries that are not registered by this date.

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