Talkback: Pacing Groups At The Virgin London Marathon

I am fairly sure this is a stupid question, but it is my first

 Do your pace runners stop at all during the race to answer a call of nature? I can understand the quick guys being able to but I am planning on running with the 10 min/mile guy and thats 4.30 hours...

 If they dont, what is your advice to keep with them. Run ahead a bit and stop or stop and then catch up?


  • What time are the "get you round" group hoping to get round in?
  • Do the pacers speed up for the next mile if they get slowed down on one stretch e.g. due to congestion?

    I.e. do they try to run each mile at the given pace, or do they try to run the entire marathon on average at the given pace? 

  • Hi Barney,

    The answer from our pacing chief is...

    "Pacers will run each mile at the specified pace and, if unimpeded, will be accurate to within 10 seconds either side. If they are held up due to congestion they will gradually pick up the pace to make the time up over the next few miles rather than blitzing the pace to catch up on the next one."

    Hope that helps!


  • Wow! This is great! I need this.

    As its my first Marathon, looking at one of these, I do Half Marathons in 2 hrs 12 mins

    • 10:00 miling (just under 4:30)
    • 11:00 miling (just under 5:00)
    • 'Get You Round
  • I'm starting from Pen 1 , Green start. Will there be a sub 3 hour Pace Group there that I can attach myself to?
  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭

    Nick.. no, not from green start.  There is usually a sub 3 pacer from the blue start so you will have to try and hook up with them later. 

    Most of the folks on green have already run a qualifying time so perhaps the organisers feel that you don't really need anyone to hold your hand!

  • Challenge accepted! I shall attempt to get from pen 3 (where I expect to be given the 3 30 i put on the form) to the sub 3 pacer, given my 2:11 time in 2 twenty miler races I should be aiming for somethin close to 3 hours image 
  • I ran my first marathon this year and just wanted to say a huge thanks to the 11 min/mile pacers at the London Marathon. I was really hoping for under 5 hours and with the help of these guys I achieved it. Not only was it great to have you to follow but they provided really useful advice and encouragement along the way. I was hoping to say thanks at the end, but didn't manage to see them again when my eyes set sight on the finish line! So thank you, and may possibly see you again next year (will decide when the blisters have gone!).
  • Hi I'm running my first marathon in April, I was running with a partner but due to work commitments she can't train with me so we will be running different times, thing is, I like running with someone, can we meet the pacers prior to the race so we know who they are?! I ran in Manchester and the pacers were a Godsend, stopped me running too fast, so I would love to run in a group!!
  • You'll see them at the start, they'll be carry signs that are visible from a long way off.

    Or, do you mean meet them socially and perhaps do some training with them ? (Just re-read your question and I'm not clear) 

  • My training times are well up on my pen times. Should I be concerned or is it possible to run say 3:45 from pen 9. What has experience taught people?

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