Will FLM disappoint?

Sent the form in, and of course may not get a place but after the GNR I'm having a few concerns. I did my first 2 marathons this year so if I'm going to do another one I really want to get a sub4 (did 4.08 this year).
Will I come back as after the GNR thinking 'great event, but too many runners?'. I guess the 3.45-4.00 slot has the most finishers, so does that make it the hardest PB group relative to the number of runners?
I am planning a second 'thon all being well, in the Autumn but that'll probably be Snowdonia, clearly not one for a PB.
Is it selfish to think I only want to put myself through the training if I can get the time I want without tripping over others?


  • I'm in the same category as you L - if I get in, I want a sub 4.

    I aimed for sub 4 in Paris if you recall, but the lack of any carbo drink there meant I hit the wall after an exact 2 hour first half, and 'died' in the Bois, getting to the finish in 4'15".

    London does have the carb drinks however, it's a fast course, and plenty of crowd support - if we're to do it anywhere, that's where it'll be.
  • I find the FLM great for PBs.I ran my 1st FLM in 4:00, last years in 2:47 and looking to get under 2:45 in 2003.It is busy but a fantastic atmosphere which I'm sure will only help you. Good luck with your application.
  • I started from about Pen 6 I think last year, and I think that was for people estimating on 5 hours plus.
    There were Wombles and Rhinos ahead of me, so I was pretty far back. I was trying for a 3.30, but had lost quite a few minutes in the first two miles or so, as you couldn't get through. From about mile 3 however I did manage to get past lots of people, and finished with a 3.43.

    If you've put a fast estimated time, then you'll be in a pen ahead of Pen 6, and so you'll have an easier time than me.

    It can be done - the drinks stations were good, and the crowd were brill. Try running at the side of the pack - you can overtake, high-5 supporters, and they can cheer you on.

    Seeya there - you'll have no probs !
  • FLM are also using chip timing now so at least you'll get the actual time it took to run 26.2 miles, which is a huge plus IMHO ;-)
  • Cheers, hope we all get spaces then.

    Pete, how long did it take you to improve so drastically?
  • Laura

    I've run the FLM 8 times now and have got a PB on 5 of those occasions, so anything is possible! If you do get in try and stay near the edge of road (but watch the drains and kerbs) as these tend to be the less congested areas.

    Hope you enjoy it as much as me - I'm back next year for helping no 9!!

    All the best
  • Laura,
    Only 18 years!
    Until 5 years ago my running was a bit off & on, but more off than on with very little improvement.
    I then joined a club,ran regularly, & added some quality training ie hills, fartleck & tempo runs.So 5 years ago I ran a PB in about 3:36 then 3:06,2:55,2:47, all FLMs.
    The next FLM I will be 41, so I'm hoping for a PB but there must be a point where the inevitable happens.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Posted this in reply to your message on the GNR thread:

    FLM has three starts, if you get in through the ballot then you'll start (for sub4) in around pen 3-5.This will take 5-10 minutes to get through the start.
    This year I was in pen3 it took me 1min19secs to cross the line.

    I've run FLM 5 times , it can get congested if you start at the back and are a quicker runner (happened to me when I ran for charidee and started at the back pen9 groan!) but by mile 2 it is normally OK.

    Sure there are places when the road narrows but this is the exception rather than the rule.

    Also London now has championchip timing clocking your time from start to finish.RW has pacers at both the main starts (red and blue) which meet up at around 3 miles.They got me round the last two years so I reckon you should be able to do your sub4 if you go with them.

    I'll definitely keep applying to FLM , however I may run Rotterdam in '03 if I don't get in to London.

    Good luck in the ballot !

    BTW my times were around 4 hrs for the first three (94-96) but that was official so real time was about 5-10 minutes less.
    last year 3.45 this year 3.31 next year 3.15?
  • London is a completely different beast from the GNR. The numbers are smaller, the timing is accurate, I thought the organisation was far slicker at the start and finish, the pens are fairly well enforced and even as a back-marker among the rhinos and Mr Men I never felt as if I would be prevented from making good time if I had been fit and adequately trained (I was neither). And the fast runners going the opposite way from me on the Isle of Dogs certainly didn't look as if anything was holding them back.

    The Shakespeare marathon two weeks after London is said to be fast and is fairly scenic, so that might be an option for a PB if the ballot disappoints. I think I'm up for the half-marathon there next year whatever happens about London.
  • Laura,

    The Rw pacer groups manage to get their groups round every year in the right time. Stick with them & you'll get your PB

    All the best in the ballot.
  • Thanks for explaining about the start pens, sounds pretty efficient. I wondered about the pacers, no doubt there will be plenty of agonising about that on the forum nearer the time. If I don't get in I'm sure I won't be alone in looking for another marathon around the same time of year - maybe the Shakespeare is one option

    Pete and Dustin - your improvements are impressive to say the least! I'm sure you've both got plenty of marathon PB's to come.

    Now the only question is - how do I tell my other half I've applied for another marathon?(in other words that a new obsessive training period is just around the corner). I was thinking of dropping it delicately into conversation this weekend after a few glasses of wine.
    That's probably worthy of a separate thread.
  • "Fancy a weekend in London? I hear it's lovely in April."
    Once you're there " I'm just popping out. You watch the telly"
  • Laura, you naughty scamp! You mean you didn't have a deep and meaningful family discussion before making such a serious decision?

    I applied in early August, and broke the news to Mr V-rap yesterday when I came home with another copy of marathon news (Angelmouse picked it up in Sutton Runner because Paula Radcliffe was on the cover) and he said, "Hope that's not a marathon entry form".

    Just 'fessed up about Helsby too ("I thought we could stay in one of the DeVeres near Chester for a weekend in, say, mid-January..."). Only got the Suicide Sixish to get off my chest now.
  • Go Vrap! You're ahead of the game there.

    Sudden inspiration: I'll use the same strategy he uses when he wants a new bike.
    "I'd really like a new bike. Not that I need one. Just a fantasy really..." The steady drip drip of comments like these and before I know it, it feels like that brand new bike is a done deal and already part of the furniture.

    I'll start practising tonight: "One day I'd really like to run the London marathon. 'Course, it's hard to get a place in the ballot, just a fantasy really."
  • Women are just so much better at this sort of thing than men.
  • Hey, this is wonderful! My very favourite husband is, at this very minute, booking our accommodation for the Cheddar Half (thought we'd better sort it out early since there are so many of us to be fitted in), and has already had the map and YHA book out for Helsby. I'd forgotten how much he likes weekend breaks. What he doesn't know is that I'm hoping for a bit of Forumite social life as well as taking a couple of hours out to run a race.
  • watch out for the drink bottle's broke my ankle at first one out of running for ages ,but got more press coverage is i broke the record.
  • Vrap - there is a v swish YHA in Chester - not stayed there myself (as I'm a local) but I'd recommend that.

    Probably about 10- 15 miles from the start ?
  • Thanks, Cougie - that's probably where we'll stay.
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