I live quite a distance from London but will make the Journey twice if needed, ie. collect chip on Wednesday- and travel down on the Saturday again for the race

How busy and slow is it to collect you pack on the Saturday afternoon?


  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I have read on other threads that its pretty slick, though if you go midday saturday expect some inconvenience.

  • Thanks DT- after 1.30 on Saturday for me so expecting some delays!!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Same here. I may just leave it until 5pm. 

  • While on the subject of VLM pre race effort-How busy is it getting to the start on the sunday morning? How much time would I need to give to get from St Pancras station?- staying at a hotel next to the station.

    I have a GFA so looks like I start from the red start.

    The marathon I did last years had less than 200 runners so this may be a bit of a different experience, seemed like a good idea to enter 6 months ago- now in reality Its a bit of hassle and expense I didn't realise I had to collect my number etc the day before-expected it to be posted out, thought the start was near a tube stop (only been to London a handful of times).

    Hope the experience and hope I will get a time that will make it worth it!!

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    My initial plan was to possibly drive down at 6am on the Sunday until I discovered the position re numbers. I'd have rathered stay in London the Sunday night and had a full day and evening taking it in. 

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I actually enjoy all of the London "faff" all the other events I do in the year are usually small local affairs so its nice once a year to make a weekend of it.

    Running eye, it's best to leave plenty of time. If the race starts at 10 I'd want to be on the tube before 8.
  • SlowkoalaSlowkoala ✭✭✭

    Running Eye, I think if it's the same as last year then the GFAs start at the green start (with the C-list slebs). It's not as busy as the other starts and you don't have to queue long at the baggage bit and for the loos.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    There is also fast GFA which starts at the front of the Red start in your own little pen. I think it's sub 3.10 for that.
  • Thanks all, will need every once of strength I have if I am to get near my goal so would like the pre-race prep to be as quick and easy as poss

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    Getting your number is easy...then it's up to you how much time you spend looking round e expo itself. That's where the crowds are, it's like a trade show. I  like to buy a souvenir t shirt or hoody etc then get out quick.  


  • I went 4 years ago on the Satrday afternoon. Got my number will minimal fuss/queuing (then found they'd sold out the of t shirt I wanted in my size, but that's another story!

  • Mr Puffy's advice is sound. Last year I registered really quickly on the Saturday but then made the mistake of looking round the expo and leaving exhausted and dehydrated about 3 hours later. That old chestnut 'stay off your feet' is a good one image

  • I've heard quite a few people say that it's not actually that bad collecting your number on the Saturday, I reckon they scare enough people into going earlier that it all evens out. Good thing as I won't be getting there until Saturday lunchtime. Would have been nice to have a proper look round the expo afterwards but if it's packed I won't bother. Can't be doing with hours on my feet on the day before the marathon!

  • Regarding start pens, is there a way of figuring out which pen we should be in now, or will we be told nearer the time? I'm trying to be as organised as possible so I have my transport from hotel to start all figured out nice and early.

  • Do you mean which colour start you're on ?
  • Your pen number will depend on your predicted finish time. There are 9 of them. What time did you put down?

    Regarding starts, Green is GFA, Blue is ballot places, Red is charity places.

  • LS21LS21 ✭✭✭

    running eye - can't remember what time you ran last year cos I think you're a V40, possibly older? But if it was sub-3'10, maybe 3'05 this year then you'll be at the front of red on the fast GFA start. Any slower you'll be on green.

    The entrance to the fast GFA is right next to the blue start, so you could either get the DLR to Greenwich or the normal train to Blackheath (or Maze Hill I think?) I think the trains go from Charing Cross and Waterloo? Not sure as I've always got DLR before, or just stayed in Greenwich itself and walked to the start.If you're on red it'll tell you to travel to Greenwich, but it's really not necessary. That's for the masses of charity runners. We have a totally different enclosure to them adjacent to the blue start.

    And the expo could be done in about 5 mins I think. Take your letter and id and you collect your race pack. You then go over a timing mat thing to activate your chip. It then routes you through the expo which is just a big trade show. Nothing to stop you walking straight through, collecting your goody bag on the way out and straight back to the hotel.

  • Yes, colour start was what I meant cougie.

    Thanks Screama, blue is the one for me then. I was looking at the map on the VLM website and it said that red was for charity but not what the green and blue starts are.


  • It's Blackheath station for blue then. Trains from Charing Cross.

  • Thanks for that. Got my travel route worked out now.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    There will also be another magazine dropping through your letterbox in the next week or so. That should give you all of the details you need.
  • thanks LS21 

  • Is there a place to leave bags at the expo? I'm going to head straight there on Friday afternoon so will have my weekend holdall with me and don't want to have to lug it round the show.

  • Don't think so, sra.

    I went last year on a Saturday afternoon and found it busy but quick and efficient.  If you didn't want to you wouldn't have to spend hardly any time there at all.

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