VLM: we want to hear from you!



  • Vicky Yello wrote (see)
    Peter Collins wrote (see)

    Just the crowds in general up to about 17 miles. After that, I have to admit the crowd became more of an irritant to me, though I know they all meant well.

     .... Glad I'm not the only person who thought that - felt pretty guilty about it! Embankment I was desperate for some peace and quiet ... image

    I think, Vicky, it's just natural when you're reaching the very limits. I found that there's nothing worse than walking in a running race with thousands of people urging you on, and simply being unable to comply. My thoughts were uncharitable to say the least, but I think those people I silently cursed would forgive me.

  • Had a Great day even though found it hard in the heat but ran with a girl called philappa davey from plymouth kept me on track running walking from start to finish friend for life thanks to her she made my day.Congratulation to all who completed .Shame the T.V focused on the Elete and celebrities as usual instead of those who friends loved ones want to see.  

    • Your best moment - seeing my hubby 3 times. Lots of people out, more than I can ever remember
    • Your worst moment - a nasty stich from mile 17 until about mile 19. Had to double up, that was the only way I could deal with it
    • What surprised you most about the day - This was the first time (7th LM) that people were actively sharing their drinks. Instead of picking a full bottle of water at each station, I just got a half used from someone else and poured it over my shoulders. Lots of runners were holding drinks up for grab once they had what they needed
    • Your most memorable moment - People encouraging me when I had to run doubled up. Around M24 someone shouting that I was one of the first ladies (which wasn't true, but sounded great anyway)
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared - not to be too far from my PB and definitely under GFA. Got 3.34, so reasonably happy
    • And of course, how you celebrated! - pint down the pub by St James station, fish and chips later - exactly like always
  • Edith, I was offering my bottles and to begin with I had no trouble finding a taker - interestingly (sort of) though, the further we went the less takers there were and I was chucking away half full bottles like the rest of them

  • My first marathon was an epic experience - my best moment was seeing 11 members of my family with a 'Go Daddy Go' banner at the British Heart Foundation cheering point on Tower Bridge. Worst moment getting cramp at mile 16 and having to stop for a few minutes and some inconsiderate runners walking in the middle , weaving around and runners who clearly submitted unrealistic start times judging by the amount of early walkers. Biggest surprise was the crowds, I got so much encouragement and it really helped me push on when I was slowing. Most memorable moment was Tower Bridge , just incredible, and Colin Jackson shaking my hand and telling me 'Sean keep going ' . My goal was 4-30 to 4-45 . Got home in 4hours 37minutes so very pleased with that. I celebrated with a huge chinese takeaway with the family . 

  • Bokster wrote (see)

    Edith, I was offering my bottles and to begin with I had no trouble finding a taker - interestingly (sort of) though, the further we went the less takers there were and I was chucking away half full bottles like the rest of them

    I am not surprised by this the slightest. At the last stages of the race I was in my own private hell and could hardly care for anything else but make it to the finish.Other peoples' drinks were not on my radar.image


  • What did I like most? Following the gorgeous 4:15 RW pacer!! Kept me motivated for the whole run image Finished in 4:14 after a faster last mile... I missed him!
  • PCleasbyPCleasby ✭✭✭
    I absolutely loved it. My tenth marathon, my second VLM but my FIRST SUB 3. Sorry to shout but I was whooping with delight when I crossed the line. It was one of those days which happen all too rarely when everything just came together.

    First half in 1:28:30. Second half in 1:30 = 2:58:30. Oh the joy.

    The best bit, turning onto the Mall with 400m to go and having 3 minutes in which to do it. The grin began to form and it's still lurking around my face now.

    Worse bit? Struggling to find one but I'd have to go for the T-shirt. It's a bit rubbish.

    I'm still floating on cloud 9
  • SilkTorkSilkTork ✭✭✭
    • Best moment: The first 13 miles were good. The weather was nice, and I was feeling strong. I knew I was way out of my plan as I was going much too fast, and no matter how much I kidded myself that this was time in my pocket for when I faded at the end, I knew I would suffer and crash, but couldn't slow myself down. Passing each pub was a good moment, and after Canary Wharf I did take advantage of those with drinks in their hands to gulps a few mouthfuls of beer, much to everyone's pleasure!
    • Worse moment - going round the Dogs. I had talked myself into walking round to save energy, and that if I started running again on leaving the Dogs I would still make my target of 6 hours because I did have so much time in hand. But coming into Canary Wharf I felt really dizzy and sick. I had run too hard in the first half, and my body had not been able to run and absorb water and energy - so it was all still there in my stomach. I had to lay down to recover. Got surrounded by paramedics who took some convincing that I was actually OK, just needed to lower my head because I was dizzy, and needed rest so my body could absorb the water. After checking my pulse, and finding that I was lucid and talking sense, they gradually faded away, leaving just one kind lady to chat to me until I felt better. But then when I set off again, my muscles had cooled down, so within half a mile I got cramp. Another ten minutes getting treatment. My 6 hour target was now well gone.
    • I was surprised at how thin the crowd was in Central London. When I finished two years ago at around the same time, the Embankment and Birdcage Walk had been crowded, and I had been somewhat over-stimulated by the cheering to run a sprint finish. This year it was sparsh. Birdcage Walk in particular. Only one side had people, and that had big gaps. It was now overcast and cold, so I assume people had just drifted away a bit earlier.
    • Most memorable two years ago was probably about mile 24 when a woman dashed out from the crowd to give me a big sexy kiss and tell me I was a hero. Nothing like that this year. Probably some of the banners: "Mo Farah Never Ran A Marathon" - "Who needs toenails anyway" - and the best: "Run if you can - Walk if you must - But finish for Boston"
    • My goal was under 6 hours. Only done it once - at Amsterdam. All too often it's 6.03, 6.05, etc. Praque was 6.01 FFS! Because I went off too fast, and the wheels came off round the Dogs, I only managed 6.37
    • A few pints with my son. And we remembered how we had drunk together after the British 10K with a friend of his, who later got killed on his bike during the Olympics.
  • Best moment - the realisation around half way, when i knew the game was probably up on the target time of sub 4, that actually the time really didn't matter, it was all about the experience. Also, the crowds around canary wharf and coming close to tears from being over- whelmed by it all.

    Worst moment - the weather! I was going to say hitting the wall at mile 22 but it wasn't that bad...

    Most surprising - that I got over the start line within 5 mins from red pen. Supreme organisation VLM!

    Most memorable bit - coming up to the Houses of Parliament takes some beating! Seeing my family of course and all of us going mental although number 2 looked a bit non-pulsed (9 months!)

    Goal and finish time - goal was anything sub 4. Finished in 4'06 which considering first marathon, the heat and only 2 runs per wk for the 6 wks leading up to it due to illness and injury not to mention cramp from mile 7 to 16(!) I was really over the moon about!

    Celebration - met friends and family in festival hall and had about 6 beers and some food!
  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    My first VLM as a supporter after 6 runs!

    Best moment - seeing my sister at mile 25 and knowing she would finish her first marathon running.

    Worst moment - seeing her at mile 18 and realising she was struggling and not being able to do anything about it.

    Most surprising - Michel Roux being a very grumpy runner while Ed Balls was acknowledging all the shouts.....

    Most memorable bit - spending 2 hours handing jelly babies out at mile 18. feel I paid back all the jelly babies I've eaten over the past 10 years!

    Celebration - pizza and beer (and a massive emotional hug from my very tired but elated sister)

  • I had a fantastic, fantastic day - couldn't fault the organisation or the support.

    Best moment - getting under 5 hours for the first time. 4.57.13. Just delighted. I also loved some of the signs such as "This is the worst parade ever". Loved how London came together to honour Boston.

    Worst moment - seeing the 4.30 pacer collapse right in front of me. Getting the race photos and realising that in my only otherwise decent photo I had been photobombed by the bloody camel I had finally left behind at 17 miles.

  • Best moment - seeing my wife and kids at 22 miles. Really helped me get through the last stretch.

    Worst moment - cramping severely at 15 miles and realising all goals were out of the window.

    Surprise - the sheer volume of the crowds all along the route. I'd expected there to be a few sections with not too many people, but it was all the way.

    Memorable - the banner around 24 miles that read "run if you can, walk if you must, but finish for Boston"

    Goal - stupidly thought I had a sniff of 4:30 despite running with a chest infection and taking antibiotics with my marathon breakfast. Didn't get anywhere near that and was over 5hrs.

    Celebration - a few pints with friends and family on Sunday night, but then an epic all-you-can-eat Chinese last night!

    Oh, and I really like the t-shirt - am wearing it now!


    • Your best moment: Seeing my dad at the meet and greet, he'd never come to any of my races before this one.
    • Your worst moment: Slowing down at mile 22, i didnt anticipate how difficult it would be to get going again.
    • What surprised you most about the day: I'd never raced with such a crowd, and what a difference their support made.
    • Your most memorable moment: Egging the crowd on for cheers on the last 800metres. That made my day
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared: I was on target in training for a 4.30 finish but without anticipating how hard the wall was i managed a respectable 4:53. When i orginally set out to start training I set a goal for sub 5 that I was happy to achieve.
    • And of course, how you celebrated!:  FISH AND CHIPS
    • Your best moment: Seeing the wife at mile 18.
    • Your worst moment: Getting repeatedly shoved by other runners.
    • What surprised you most about the day: How quickly it all seemed to go but that said how long the Embankment seems to last.
    • Your most memorable moment: Has to be crossing the line, nothing compares to knowing you've completed a marathon.
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared: To beat my PB of 3:56. Finished in 3:48. Chuffed as nuts.
    • And of course, how you celebrated!: Pint of Guinness in the local.
    • Your best moment (apart from the finish)

    Removing my pink wig and handing it to my husband at Tower Bridge - had been dying to get rid of it for about 8 miles, but thought he'd never spot me without it!

    • Your worst moment

    Losing the lovely Sarah and Michiko, RW 4:30 pacemakers, just after mile 20 when I hit the wall - I'd hung on to them all the way up until then. Hadn't realised just how hard it would be to stay in touch when the course was so crowded, especially later in the race when so many people were slowing down. Had a really bad couple of miles, but I found a more sustainable pace by about mile 23 - despite being incapable of getting any more carbs or water inside me.

    • What surprised you most about the day

    How warm it was! I don't think the Met Office warned me about that. And how  much of the rest of the experience you miss if you are totally focussed on staying with a pacemaker!

    • Your most memorable moment

    Unexpectedly, somewhere near Blackfriars Bridge, seeing a friend in the crowd who was waitign to cheer on her daughter - it helped me get out of my bad patch. That and the wonderfully affirmative messages on those big things in the underpass!

    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared

    Goal 1 - ambitious - sub 4:30. Goal 2 - more realistic - sub 4:36:20 - a new PB. Actual result 4:37:58, but I was pleased because my PB was achieved in much cooler conditions in 2008, and I was exactly ten minutes faster than last year. I had completely emptied the tank running with the 4:30 pacemakers, and I am pleased that I finished less than 8 minutes behind them.

    • And of course, how you celebrated!

    With difficulty, to start with, because I was so cold and nauseous at the finish! Eventually, at about 9pm, a glass of prosecco - and chilli con carne!

  • This was to be my first and last marathon - so VLM was recommended as the best...I was running for the charity Cancer Focus NI for personal reasons and chose to train and run a marathon because I knew it would put me outside my comfort zone...there was no point in doing something that came easily...well was there? image  My training was hampered with injury (grrrr!!) and by the time it came to marathon day I had experienced several sports massages image learned aqua jog and speed walking as ways of keeping my fitness levels up and putting miles on my legs imageI also learned to manage the various discomforts that had cropped up during the few training runs I was fortunate enough to get in...

    • Your best moment (apart from the finish): The whole VLM experience with the crowds shouting support meant the complete marathon experience was overall a 'best moment' for me.
    • Your worst moment: Was knowing that I could go faster but I had to pace myself to prevent any more discomfort than I was experiencing in my feet and remaining injury free image but that was a personal battle!!
    • What surprised you most about the day: The sheer volume of specators that carried me along and made running 26.2 miles a pleasure, the superb organisation of the VLM - from the expo registration, the water, gel and vaseline stations, to the bag collection at the end...a completely stress free day!!
    • Your most memorable moment: Without a doubt was Tower Bridge at the half way mark...but then again Pretty Woman being played at mile 8, the drums under the bridge, Big Ben chiming 3 o'clock as I passed under it, running to the finish to a Beatles tune...all best moments...brilliant!!!
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared: To raise funds for the charity, to finish in and around 5 hours (my strategy would allow me to soak up the atmosphere, make several toilet stops if needed (even let a guy go in front of me cause he was in obvious distress...oooops those gels!!), walk a few minutes to drink in the crowds and create memories of the landmarks, dance to the music and celebrate injury free on the Sunday evening...so you can imagine how delighted I was to finish with a much larger fundraising total than I expected, in 5:06 and injury free...
    • And of course, how you celebrated! : Chatting to my 3 kids who thought I was mad but now think Im a hero image, then going out for a meal with my partner, savouring several glasses of chilled white wine and getting a great big cuddle!!
    • Your best moment (apart from the finish)
    • The crowd encouraging me along the Embankment and Mall
    • Your worst moment
    • None I enjoyed all the race and the day
    • What surprised you most about the day
    • The huge support and noise from the spectators
    • Your most memorable moment
    • Running down the Mall and looking at my watch and realising I would have a fab time as I had managed to run all the way
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared
    • I felt highly motivated about raising money for charity. Also my dream goal was 4hours.30 and my training and expected goal 4.45 and previous time 2 years ago 4.53 and my dream time came true
    • And of course, how you celebrated!
    • A sports massage and Food, food and more food without thinking is it nutritious and good recovery food.
    • My husband was so proud of me
  • Agree re: prunes. TMI those will never get unwrapped in my house! Loved the pistachios though. Had a couple on my way home. Next day ate an entire jar of Branston Pickle. Salt depletion perhaps? Anyway, enough about food:

    Best Moment: Big Ben, knowing I'd actually finish, Buckingham Palace, the finish in sight...

    Worst Moment: Many! Realising I was far off my target time, watching all the fast runners near 22 with great crowd support as I merely turned the corner after Tower Bridge... Watching a runner fall between mile 20 and 21. Canary Wharf. Miles 18-23... Having to walk another marathon to get my bag and get to the train station...

    Surprise: How nice all the supporters were

    Memorable: Has to be the finish...

    Goal: Well it was to finish, but was way behind my PB but has spurred me on for next year.

    Celebrations: still haven't actually...


  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭
    Best moment - going past the Cutty Sark. The crows support there was incredible and it's a sight I always remember when watching the VLM on TV. Felt unreal that I was actually running it this year and could feel myself welling up. Have been running for 2 years and never believed I would ever run a marathon.

    Also seeing my OH at mile 15 (although managed to miss all three kids!)

    Also beating Harry from McFly!

    Worst moment - the weather - my last long run on Easter Sunday was in sub zero temperatures and I don't usually take water on runs. The sun made me nervous as realised I would need to drink for this one.

    Surprise - seeing David Weir supporting at mile 20. He didn't look as if he had just raced a marathon! Also, not hitting 'the wall' that everyone talks about.

    Memorable moment - going over Tower Bridge - again, this felt very unreal, but something I will remember for the rest of my life.

    Goal - main goal was 3:50 but golden goal was sub 3:30. Finished in 3:29:18 so very pleased with this as its my first marathon.

    Celebrations - taking one of those bike taxis to Pizza Express where we met up with friends. Then later had fun blister popping!
  • Loved running my first VLM!!

    • Your best moment - Tower Bridge suddenly coming into view and running over it
    • Your worst moment - realising I'd been over optimistic with my pace in the first 8 miles and was not going to get a PB
    • What surprised you most about the day - the two sharp turns by Buckingham Palace - you think you can see the finish but it's actually the 800 meters to go sign!  Also spotting my friends at mile 25.
    • Your most memorable moment - Loads of them! Crossing the start line, Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, crying my eyes out for ages along the Embankment, the Luzocade tunnel at mile 23, seeing Big Ben and finishing.
    • What your goal was, and how your finishing time compared - goal was under 5 hours but came through at 5.21, still very happy to have finished though.
    • And of course, how you celebrated! Joined the charity'd welcome reception then to the pub and a huge bowl of ice cream with my friends who has alsojust ran!

    What a day! Just over 2 weeks til I do it all again in Prague, yikes!

  • 4th London. Had a dodgy stomach going into the run. Chatted to a few celebs off the telly at the start and got some photos with them. Set off like an idiot. I was aiming for similar to my Brighton time of 3.14. Did miles 2 3 and 4 in a reckless 6.55 pace. Tried to slow down but couldnt. Dont know why. Got hot by mile 15 then by 18 I was struggling. I was busting for a wee at the start and figured my stomach cramps might be due to this so stopped and did the biggest most out of control wee ever. Last few miles were terrible and I struggled to get 3.25 and was gutted by how badly I had run it. Could have done under 3.20 with less effort going steady. Nipped into a shower at the finish. Got out and was greeted by Frank Bruno. Top bloke. Didnt really enjoy it this year. Trained hard and did 5 20 mile runs plus in awfull weather on my own. Went to London on my own and probably missed a bit of banter. Crowds were the best ever on the way round. Was cheered up by the free meal and the people at the Clic Sargent reception. Had a stinker but it happens. Over it now. Trying to plan ahead for Berlin 2014 and any advice most welcome.


  • Best moment.. taking nearly 15 mins off my pb, finishing in 3.14.32.

    Most surprising.. the wall of noise at Cutty Sark.

    Worst moment.. Mile 18, having one of those, "did I set off too quickly" feelings.

    Most memorable.. The whole day, Thanks to the organisation.

    My goal.. 3.20.. SMASHED IT!!


  • BEST MOMENT: going over tower bridge/when some guy got me with a water cannon

    WORST MOMENT: discovering I’d been put in the back pen behind the 5 hour pacer despite putting 3:45 on my estimated time/when we ground to a complete halt at 5.5miles/when my knee went at 18 miles

    SURPRISING MOMENT: how amazingly well organised it was (despite my disappointment about being put at the back)

    MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Big Ben chiming just as I got to it

    GOAL: Primary goal = sub-3:45; secondary goal = sub-3:55

    ACTUAL: 3:56 - considering having to fight from the back and the sheer volume of runners along with running the last 8 miles with severe knee pain, I’m alright with that

    CELEBRATION: Eating ALL the food! 

  • Best Moment:- The Lucozade tunnel of yes at mile 23, coming through that to the noise of the crowds on Embankment was truely epic.

    Worst Moment:- Suffering from cramp with 400 metres to go and had to stop for 30 seconds to stretch it out, other than that ran the whole way ropund.

    Most Memorable Moment:- Far to many but if I had to pick one - going over tower bridge.

    Goal:- Primary Goal = Sub 4hours Secondary Goal:- 3;30

    Actual:- 3:40:07 - was actually very pleased with my time considering it was my first marathon and had to start from pen 9 on Blue Start image

    Celebration: A curry and beer.

  • what date is the 2014 vlm does any crows know that please image
  • This was my second London and was absolutley fantastic. I am no spring chicken and only started running at the age of 50. Last year I had stomach cramps and had to walk 19 miles and finished in just over 6 hours. This year I hoped to go sub 5hrs but managed just over. A truly amazing experience and very humbling.

  • Well done Granny like you I'm no spring chicken but had a good day all round This year was the longest time it took me. Ran for my beloved sister who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer the day after the Marathon but at least she let me complete it before she passed away. Now trying to get back into running and have joined the Park Runs great morning runs up and down the country 5k runs on a Saturday morning free to enter anyone can do them too   

  • Well done Margaret. I am so glad your sister knew what you did. I have done a few park runs but only get a chance every 6 weeks as I have to work. I have tried to keep up with running and have been out a couple of times a week since. Looking towards my next challenge....maybe Swindon half in October.   I have decided not to do another VLM, mainly because of the training and the time and toll it takes. Not only that, nothing could beat the thrill of this year. I can live on that for the rest of my life.

  • nice 1 glad your sis saw you ..im no spring chic at 56yrs my 3rd london it was the best crowd ever.
Sign In or Register to comment.