Luton Marathon

Not done this one before.
As forewarned is forearmed any info on the undulations?


  • There are two hills per lap worth being aware of coming close together in the middle of the lap. Each hill on it's own wouldn't be too much of a problem, but they do wear you down after climbing them three times each if you overdo it in the early stages. It's not an easy course this, but it's worth doing.
  • Many thanks.
    How about P.B. potential, is:"good", "maybe if everything goes right" or is it a "forget it"
  • Wouldn't be easy to get a personal best here. Maybe not impossible (some people have done it) especially if you have increased your training since your previous best time and are running particularly well, but it would require a very good performance on the day and be very hard work! It would also be critical get the pacing spot on & not to overdo it in the early stages because if you start to struggle, you'll really suffer on the hills later on and lose a lot of time.
  • Thanks for the warning.
  • This is my first marathon, any tips, advice greatly received.
  • The best advice I can give is to repeat what I said above. It's important to run a controlled race and pace it right. With the hills on each lap it's an unforgiving course with few opportunities to recover depleted energy. Overdoing it early on will incur a heavy penalty later in the run, so just relax in the early stages and save something for the last lap. Last time I did it I didn't do that so while I was doing reasonably well at half-way, the earlier over-exertion caught up with me and my performance collapsed over the last lap to such a degree that it ended up being my slowest ever marathon. Hope it goes well, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It's a great event organised very well with some of the most helpful marshalls I have come across and although the course is tough, it's a very pleasant run for the most part.
    This year I'll only have one lap to do as I'm running the relay with my dad & sister.
  • Thanks, that's useful. If I was aiming for about 3:45, would you run it at an even pace or go slower and pick up in the second half?
  • If I was running the full marathon again this year I'd aim for an even pace for the first two laps with something kept in reserve for a strong last lap. That was my intention last year, and would have been successful had I been more sensible in the early stages. (That still irritates me as it just didn't feel right on the first lap. The pace just felt too fast, but for some reason I pushed on with it rather than making the necessary adjustment while I had the chance)
  • Thanks, that helps a lot (I can feel your frustration!) So if I was to go at a bit under 4 hours pace for the first 2 laps and then see what I had in reserve for a strong last lap that would seem to fit your formula. I can see the temptation to go off at a quick pace, I've done that on half marathons but I guess it doesn't matter so much there as you're not on the road as long and won't be made to suffer so much.
    How bad are the hills?
  • I live a mile from the start and this course is my long run although only usually do a lap which makes it 10.5 in total from my door and back. I feel it is undulating rather than hilly however they are deceptive and the time for this course is usually slower that you might expect even having run it. Also of course on the marathon you do run it three times !
  • I was thinking of making this my first full marathon. I have run a couple of half-marathons this year and my training has been going really well. So far I am yet to run further than 13 miles, but if I enter this race I would no doubt need to increase my distance over the next few weeks in preperation. Am I aiming too high to run a marathon? I wouldn't expect a good time, more importantly I would be aiming to do the full distance!!

    Any advice appreciated
  • Ian,

    Actually you should be running about 20 miles this weekend then starting to ease down your mileage.

    As far as this particular race, all I would say is that it is 3 laps and therefore psychologically it could be quite difficult to handle as you will be entering the last lap at 18 miles (the wall if it comes usually does so between miles 17 and 20)always a tough time. However if you have been putting miles in up until now then you may be OK. Its your call but I would certainly recommend that you have run at least 18 miles before your first marathon, that should enable you to make the call.
  • One thing you'll certainly get from this race is excellent support. Last year, as I have said before, I overdid it in the early stages and really suffered later on. About five miles from the finish I was in serious trouble, feeling ill & dizzy & struggling to keep up a slow jog let alone a run. I must have looked bad as the first aid people made a point of making sure I was OK to continue at the top of the first hill on the last lap. The marshalls there gave me a drink & a couple of Lucozade tables and one even raided her own packed lunch to give me some cake, after which I felt better. After I restarted a marshall on a bike came alongside several times to make sure I was still OK. Without their help I might not have finished and it was comforting to know that there was someone keeping an eye out for me just in case anything untoward happened. I can't speak highly enough of the people who run this race and would have no hesistation in recommending it to anyone else. There are easiest races for you first marathon but you'll struggle to find more friendly one. Considering that this event does not enjoy the level of resources of the bigger marathons, Stopsley Striders (who organise it) work wonders in sparing no effort to make it a good day.
  • Thanks for the advice. A long endurance run this weekend will hopefully help me decide whether this race is do-able.

  • Hi, What time is the race start? Cheers, Simon
  • starts at 10am
  • Hello

    I've just put in a late entry for this Marathon. Any tips greatly appreciated.

    Also there's another thread running on this with a provisional list of runners - so it'd be great if any of you could add your names to this:

    Hope to see some of you there...

  • Hope to meet some of you on Sunday.

    Race numbers anyone? Mine's 435 and I'll be wearing a pale blue baseball cap and a pale blue vest with Liz on it (shivering).

    Post your numbers/description here too?

    Good luck everyone...

  • Sorry Liz. I decided not to enter. Didn't feel ready enough. Have a good one. Let us know your time and what the race/runners were like.
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