VLM Starting Pens

What's the story wiith the starting pens? No idea what I put down as my estimate back last year, but I suspect slow. 

I'm in Blue - Pen 7. Does it make much difference? Aiming for 4 hours. 


Went to the Expo yesterday at 16:45. Very quiet, could have been in and out in a few mins. Had a bit of a walk around. 



  • I can't remember what I put either. I do know you're not going to be able to move forward but can drop back pens if you feel you need to. Here how the pens are worked out (pinched from another website) You should be fine at the front of 7 if you run your own race image Plenty of time and miles to find your pace. Good luck!

    Pen 1   sub3

    Pen 2   3 - 3:14:59

    Pen 3   3:15 - 3:29:59

    Pen 4   3:30 -3:44:59

    Pen 5   3:45 – 3:59

    Pen 6   4:00 – 4:14:59

    Pen 7   4:15 – 4:29:59

    Pen 8   4:30 - 4:59

    Pen 9   5:00 and up.

  • Yeah, you should be fine in pen 7.

  • Pen 8 for me then ....image

  • I'm in blue pen 7 too - any idea how long it'll take to cross the start line from there?

  • Someone who worked it out from last year reckoned it took up to 20 minuted for pen 6 to cross the line.

    I was a bit mystified by the pen allocation too.  Put down 4h30 originally but then phoned up and changed it to 4h - no problem.  But when I got to Expo I was in pen 8! Managed to negotiate up to 6 but it was very hard work - they kept saying that as it was my first marathon I had no idea (fair up to a point I guess image

  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    hmm. I ran from pen 7 at the red start  in 2012 and was across in 7 minutes... they did lift the ropes very early though so perhaps that made the difference?

  • For future reference, I was right at the back of pen 7 and crossed the line in 10 minutes

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I think people are perfectly entitled to run their own race. The 3.15 pacer is in pen two so that's an average pace of 7.22. Why would someone looking for an overall average of that pace want to start a race, where they probably have not been able to warm up, any faster that 7.10. To go off at 6 mm for a 3.15 marathoner is like setting off at not much slower than 1 mile race pace. 

  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    I was pen 7 red start and got through in 7 minutes again.

    V odd that when the tapes were lifted, everyone walked forward except the pacers. Pen 7 had held the 4h15 and 4h30 pacers, but I ended up alongside the 3h25 (?) pacer who must have stood still.....

  • Hello everyone

    As this will be my first time does anyone know -

    - How does the ballot work, as looking at going in for the 2017?? Do they divide up/group the expected completing running times and then pick ballot places from each of the different expected running times or is it totally random???

    - Roughly how are the pens split up by estimated finish time/total running time, would the above still be a good guide?? As would like to start the race running off together with someone else to give them support at the beginning

    Many thanks 

  • Hello AH4,

    the way the ballot works is super secret.  If we knew how it worked it would be possible to 'game' the system to try to increase the chance of getting in.  The super speedy types can use the 'good for age' entry system which guarantees them a place.

    I've no idea if the pen info is accurate, but it looks 'finger in the air' reasonable.  If you wanted to be in the same pen as your friend the simplest way would be to put the same predicted time down on your entry forms. 

  • Thank you for that, that is probably the way to go - This other person will just be slower then me and I have a time that I would like to do it in, but I could then run on ahead of her after a while

    Just wondered if anyone had any ideas for those who have entered it before 



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