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London Marathon Finishers T Shirts

Seasoned London Marathon runners will know that at the end of the race you are presented with a goody bag containing a 'tent' - supposed to be a finishers T-Shirt!   Over the years the organisers have only issued EXTRA LARGE T-Shirts to every runner!   This is fine if you are EXTRA LARGE but a good proportion of us are small, medium or large!   I wrote a letter to Running Fitness magazine in April, which was published, in the hope that this issue would be seen by the marathon organisers.   Then, a couple of weeks ago I rang the London Marathon office and was told that whilst they were considering a change in the future, only EXTRA LARGE T-Shirts would be issued at the 2010 Virgin London Marathon.   I think this is a shame but it could be a clever idea by the organisers who perhaps hope we will all buy the official Adidas VLM T-Shirts at the Expo instead?   What do you guys think?   I doubt it is worth protesting too much as I expect the contracts have already been placed for the T-Shirts next year!

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    In this respect they're way behind other major marathons around the world.  On the other hand, entry fees are a lot lower than the other marathon majors so maybe they've got to cut corners somewhere?

    You would have thought the sponsors would be keen on having a finishers shirt that people would actually wear after the event, given the quantity of logos on them.  Maybe the Virgin marketing people would be worth a call?

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    why do they ask for your t-shirt size................might as well put the majority of them in the bin...............total waste of money
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    JWrunJWrun ✭✭✭

    At Dublin we got to choose our size, which is fine but you have to remember London is MASSIVE, and whilst they could potentially offer a choice of sizes of t-shirts, i suspect its the logistics of doing that at the end of the mall that is stopping it right now. Having a large proportion of the field coming through at around the 4.30 mark all clamouring for t-shirts would just be a nightmare!

    I don't know why people get so bothered about the t-shirts i wear my x-large london one to bed, i dont do a race for a t-shirt, i do it to race!

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    Its only a tee shirt - if you want everyone to know you ran a marathon you could always print your own ?
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    am not really that bothered - they make good night shirts and to be honest i never really wear the GNR one that does actually fit me......

    you can always buy one of the souvenir ones if you want one that fits?

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    I'm not bothered either : they always fit me image
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    I'm only a size 12 on top but still wear mine for running. It's loose and roomy I and covers my bum. I like it. image

    Also - what JWrun says.

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    The one i got in 2008 could've done with being a bit bigger, they're obviously made for puny people.
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    New York has as many runners as London and they give you a finishers shirt that fits. You collect it at the expo with your race number which I suppose makes it easier to ensure you get the size you ordered. My London finishers shirt went in the bin. I am a female size 10 and it swamped me. I'd rather they saved on buying shirts and gave the cash to charity instead of supplying tat that no one wears.
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    TRTR ✭✭✭

    Mine fit me nicely, I use em for training in.

    But i'm not in it for the Tshirt or the medal anyway.

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    That's a good idea Tortie, I've run New York 4 times and the T-Shirt given out at the Expo before the race isn't too bad.   I agree with everyone that the T-Shirt is not the main 'deal' for running the London Marathon but it does seem pointless issuing one at all if it is completely useless?
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    The problem for London is their finish area have limited space.
    They have to accomodate the finish line, funnelling, taking your chip off, medals,
    photos, goody bag and then the baggage lorries. They won`t have the capacity to
    have your size shirt in that area.

    London give out the same size shirt to everyone becauses its simple and
    cost effective rather than make four size shirts and guess how many runners
    will opt for small, medium, large, xlarge. You cannot please everyone.

    If you not happy with the London shirt. Either sell it on ebay. Give it as a gift or
    use as a teacloth.
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    I reckon they shouldn't bother with t-shirts that no one really wants, nice souvenir but if they dont fit.......... give the money to charity or reduce the fee that pays for the tee shirts............. or if you are running for a charity use it as a raffle prize in your fund raising. Hey thats my idea dont nick it.....image

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    Let's all have a mass eat-in protest pasta party for the next five months, all turn up on the start line massively overweight and out of shape, with nobody able to finish the race... but everyone wearing their perfectly fitting XL t-shirts with pride.  That'll show 'em! 

    Who's in?

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    Good points everyone.   I'll carry on using mine to polish the car and will buy a decent T-Shirt at the Expo instead - which is probably what the organisers and the clothing sponsor (Adidas) want anyway!
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    MrsK8MrsK8 ✭✭✭

    2010 will be my first marathon. Shame to read that they only do the t-shirt in XL as it would have been a nice to wear on runs after the event. Will be a tent on my because I would have needed a XS!

    If they were gonna do one size then surely it would have been better to do large. Think of the amount of material that would have been saved x 30,000. Surely more cost effect?!

    And lets be honest, if you're fit enough to complete a marathon (either by running or walking) added on top the months of training, the majority of people would be slimmer then XL?

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    Erm, no actually.

    I did my first marathon last year (Edinburgh) and the XL shirt I got for that just fitted me.

    Just 'cos you're fat it doesn't mean you ain't fit.

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    Would it be nice if the t-shirts fitted those of us who are short and slim?
    Yes.

    Are they likely to do anything about it in time for the 2010 race?
    No, I should think the t-shirts have been ordered already.

    Do the organisers really care, given the event is hugely over-subscribed?
    No.

    Will I do the race in any event?
    Yes, because the t-shirt isn't the most important thing to me.

    Did Phil's idea make me laugh?
    Yes, but I would probably have to double in size to need an XL and that's a lot of pasta.

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    I could give you a few pointers, if needed Joolska!!

    I'm a natural at putting it on.....image

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    LOL.  I think I'll stick with the one advantage I have as a runner (slim), thanks all the same!

    Love the avatar, btw.

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    I think we all know that London is not really about the runners. It is ridiculous that club runners (who are the majority of British road runners) can't even get into London half the time. I've run Berlin and Paris and just entered with no probs. The lack of a fitting t shirt sums up the event. As someone else pointed out, just ask people for t shirt size and collect the correct sized t shirt at the expo; that's what they do at every other big city marathon. London is all about money; they sell golden bond places for £300 to charities and of course you get a crap t shirt so you have to buy the official (and naturally expensive) Adidas one). Don't get me wrong I still love London and this year will be my third (a charity golden bond place the first time and luckily good for age entry now) but this is in spite of the organisation, not because of it. Shame really.
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    long live the finishers T-shirt........it is exactly that, a t-shirt to show you've finished...

    if it were picked up at the expo then who is to say you finished...... 

    at least the t-shirt is good for doing the decorating etc.... long live the finshers t-shirt and leave it at the finish where it belongs........no matter what size it is.........image

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    runnerman wrote (see)
    The problem for London is their finish area have limited space.
    They have to accomodate the finish line, funnelling, taking your chip off, medals,
    photos, goody bag and then the baggage lorries. They won`t have the capacity to
    have your size shirt in that area.

    London give out the same size shirt to everyone becauses its simple and
    cost effective rather than make four size shirts and guess how many runners
    will opt for small, medium, large, xlarge. You cannot please everyone.

    If you not happy with the London shirt. Either sell it on ebay. Give it as a gift or
    use as a teacloth.
    Rubbish, how much space would half a dozen extra trucks take up! 
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    This will be my frst marathon. I'm only tiny and really short too so by the sounds of things the tshirt will be far too huge for me. If so I'll give it to my other half who ran last year as it will fit him.
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    stuart lambert wrote (see

    I think we all know that London is not really about the runners. It is ridiculous that club runners (who are the majority of British road runners) can't even get into London half the time. I've run Berlin and Paris and just entered with no probs. The lack of a fitting t shirt sums up the event. As someone else pointed out, just ask people for t shirt size and collect the correct sized t shirt at the expo; that's what they do at every other big city marathon. London is all about money; they sell golden bond places for £300 to charities and of course you get a crap t shirt so you have to buy the official (and naturally expensive) Adidas one). Don't get me wrong I still love London and this year will be my third (a charity golden bond place the first time and luckily good for age entry now) but this is in spite of the organisation, not because of it. Shame really.

    I agree with you about the teeshirts. Yes, every major marathon I've done asks you for your teeshirt size on entry, and then includes that in your package pick-up at the expo before the race. Not sure what's so hard about that.Also agree with others that the quality of them is low compared with the usual big city marathon shirts. The question is: would you be happy to pay another £5 or £10 for a good quality shirt?

    But I think the rest of your post is grossly unfair, especially  to accuse London of being 'all about money'. It's possibly the cheapest high-profile marathon in the whole world. Have you any idea what it costs to enter NY or Chicago marathons? 

    The golden bond system is good. The charities are clamouring for them because for each  £300 invested they are guaranteed £1-2K in raised income. There is a long waiting list for GBs, which says it all. As far as I'm aware, VLM is run on a not-for-profit basis, with all surplus funds channelled into charity and community projects.

    It's not about the runners? Probably has the best elite field in the world, and a representative sample of the entire running community after that from top club runners down to charity plodders. If it wasn't about the runners why would they have a GFA system and a club allocation?

    You complain about  the organisation without saying what's wrong with it. Apart from the teeshirts, it's a superbly managed event. Have you ever thought about the logistics of shutting down half of central London for an entire day? I think it's a little over-hyped but then every big city in the world over-hypes their own marathon. All things considered, I think we can be proud of our capital marathon, and is superb value for money.

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    Totally agree RC.   I ran this years London and thought it might be a damp squid as it was the last one under the sponsorship of Flora.   In fact, it was quite the opposite - the best ever in my humble opinion and I should know as I've run 13 of them in London.   I also agree that the ONLY complaint is the T-Shirts hence me starting this forum.   I doubt anything will change but it won't stop me running London either and my 14th London will be next year courtesy of another 'Good for Age' place.
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    WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    A damp squid, Tony?  Aren't they meant to be damp?  image

    Much as I have lost interest in the London Marathon (taking part, anyway), it IS a superb piece of organisation, and at a relatively low entry fee.  I don't know why they haven't put that up to be more in line with other big city marathons such as Paris, NY, etc.  People would continue to pay it.

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    An extra £5 or £10 for a decent t shirt? These t shirts cost almost nothing to make. We organise a race and get decent quality cotton ones for £2.30 each. This year we asked about technical tops and were told to add another £1.50. We only order 400 so with the number London order they would them for no more than say £3 or £4 each. Not bothering to even make the token effort of getting the right sized one is frankly pathetic. I think you also need to remember that the organisers of London are paid for what they do!! The rest of us organise road races all around the country for free whereas London has tens or even hundreds of year round employess. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you could do London with volunteers but I wouldn't heap on quite so much praise for the awazing job they do. As for the idea that they somehow do some amazing job stopping traffic in CentralLondon, well guess what, so does every other big city marathon! I'm not saying it is badly organised just that it is average. I've run Berlin and Paris and they are on a par for organisation. London is great because of the crowds and spectators and running past amazing London landmarks, not the orgnaisers!

    Also, as for a club allocation of places, that is a joke. We have 140 members and get three places a year! Sadly most club runners rarely get a chance to run it unless they rely on pot luck or raise about £2000 (easy for me as I'm a teacher and have a lot of contacts (I did this two years ago) but virtually impossible for some people).

    I say double the price and give more places to club runners not celebs dressed as clowns running it in eight hours (though you should still have a fun element to it).

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    That's twice you've said "Don't get me wrong" before another tirade of negativity. You sound like a right old moaner to me.

    But I agree that organising a marathon in central London really can't be that difficult. image

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