I want to run a marathon but i'm not sure whether i should wait until I can get a place in London or enter a smaller marathon where i'm more likely to get in, such as New Forest. Meanwhile the clock is ticking and i'm hitting the dreaded half century this year. Any advice ?


  • There are hundreds of marathons out there and most of them are fairly easy to get in to

    Why do you think that London would be the better one for you?
    What do you want from a marathon?

    What is your level of fitness and what are your goals for completion?

    Its a fun way to spend a few hours a week certainly  image

  • I want to do London because of the atmosphere and if im only going to one that is probably the best. My level of fitness is ok but i've only been running again regularly for about 6 weeks. I did a few 10ks when i was younger and a couple of ten milers ooh and the Pompey half marathon. I loved the atmosphere of the Great South Run and the sense of camaradie. I suppose the marathon is a bucket list sort of thing and i'm not sure that i fancy a lonely slog with a handfull of spectators.

  • Regardless of which marathon you choose, you need WAY more than 6 weeks of training to be ready.  It sounds like you would really prefer London.  I'm not sure how likely/unlikely getting into London is, but it wouldn't hurt you to wait an extra year even at your age.  You will still be improving year by year for the next 5+ years because you are so new, so if 2013 doesn't happen for you, 2014 is fine too.  Just work your distances up to the 20-30 mile/week range and let your body get used to that.  Once you are stable there, you will be ready for more advanced marathon training.
  • You are more likely to get a place in London if you apply for a charity place. And you can raise money in the process for a deserving cause! I got in this year via a charity and it was my first one.
  • Having run some huge races and some much smaller ones, personally I much prefer the smaller ones. Fewer people means less hassle booking a nearby hotel, parking the car, meeting up with your friends/family at the end, if you're travelling by public transport less queueing for your bus/train, all that sort of thing. Also with the low key events there's often more of a chance to get chatting to random people at the start and then catch up with them again at the finish. Seems to me that the smaller events put on by volunteers and local clubs are often much better organised as well. I used to have a hankering after London, but I haven't bothered entering the ballot for the last few years now for all the reasons mentioned above.

  • Though if you're doing it as a once off bucket list thing, maybe all those are reasons you'd hate the smaller events and get much more enjoyment out of the hullabaloo of a massive event. image
  • Hello max's mum

    I thought of entering through a charity place but they all seem to want guarantees of £2000. I'm not sure if i can raise that much. Which charity did you go with? How did the run go by the way ?

  • What about a marathon abroad? I'm signed up for Berlin in the autumn, because I wanted to do a big city marathon with lots of atmosphere for my first one. I haven't got into London through the ballot yet, but it's possible to just sign up for some marathons - Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, I think.
  • I missed the LOndon Ballot. Might be forced to recondider. I've heard the overseas marathon's are not so well supported as London and I will need all the support I can get but it is an option.
  • I've entered the New Forest Marathon. London was just too much hastle. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, and roll on 21st September. At the end of the day a Marathon is 26. 2 miles wherever it's run and i look forward to the challenge. 

  • Tracey GTracey G ✭✭✭
    Have done Brighton the last 3 years and seen it grow into a fantastic marathon. The support is good, even this year when the weather was cold and windy. This marathon is getting bigger and bigger.
  • Berlin certainly has plenty of support - especially at the end - my goodness the finish is amazing.

    New York - way better crowds than London although I prefer the London Route.

    Edinburgh - great course (I am scottish so a bit biased) not huge crowds but enough that I felt like shouting shut up at them.

    Dublin is really nice - nice route, plenty of folks in places around the route but not the kind of madness you see at NY or London.  Those two are a bit mental to be honest.  I will never forget coming out of a dark lonely bridge, no noise except the sound of feet  - coming up into daylight and rounding the corner onto Manhattan Island and just being hit with a wall of sound - it's pretty awesome.

Sign In or Register to comment.