ARE YOU A NEW POSTER? Do you have questions about VLM? Come here!

So... it looks like in the wisdom of the RW Towers, they are not allowing brand new posters to post on the website... So - if this is you; feel free to come and ask here :) 


  • I am having this problem, I thought I was going mad!
  • Hi all.
    How busy will it be for spectators around miles 20/21? I'm hoping my family will be able to see somewhere there. I'll be aiming to finish between 5.10/5.30.

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Yerma: really depends. You can expect the course to be packed no matter where you are on the course. Docklands itself seems to be less crowded than other places. I know 17-19 are pretty good places near and around mudchute. 

    20-21 may be OK. Normally there's a fetchpoint (another forums meet up) at mile 20 so you could tell them to be before or after that so you know where to look for them. 

    Biggest problem that I had with London was there were so many people I completely missed my supporters. If you can make them recognisable with a flag /position,  it'll help you 
  • Yerma I agree with Emmy that 17-19 were good when I went to support my brother last year. My parents and I stood around mile 18 and we managed to see my brother and he came and gave us all high fives. I then hopped on a Thames Clipper to Embankment to try and see him along Westminster for the final few miles but it was impossible. Also don't let your family rely on the app to see where you are (if they're doing the app year) we tried to track him and it stopped working around Tower Bridge.

    This is going to be my first VLM. I just wondered what times people got the start for? I asked my brother but he can't remember! I'll be travelling from Vauxhall and going to the Blue Start.
  • senidMsenidM ✭✭✭
    For the least crowded spectator areas go to Blackwall DLR station and then walk back to Trafalgar Way after the 19 mile mark. Anywhere along here will be fairly quiet.

    As a runner you may spot your supporters but they won't see you until you actually stop and say hello. They become face blind after a couple of hours watching! So you need to know where they're standing and they need to know what time to expect you, approx. - not easy to forecast!!!

    Last tip - if you've got your name on your vest, and who doesn't, then get your supporters to shout out something else, a nickname, your surname, whatever, so that you'll actually register its them. Believe me, after the hundredth person has told you your looking good its ceases to register.

    Most people get to the start for 8 - 8.30
  • Thanks for the replies everyone. Really appreciated. 
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Barn: I was there with an hour to spare and it was full. You need to allow time for the loos, baggage trucks,  faffing around. 

    Also don't trust that you can get on the first train either 
  • Does anybody know how long the walk from Blackheath to the green satrt is and the best route?
  • from memory - about 15 mins.  Just follow the 100000s of runners walking up the hill.  All three starts are pretty close and signposted. It's really easy to get to the right place. 

    There is a map of this in your magazine too. 
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Emmy is right - it's not far to get to the start areas, but somehow it can take a while to actually get yourself to the start line with your baggage checked in, etc. Allow plenty of time and then there's no stress. Aim to be at the start an hour before the race starts, and if you have time to stand around before the start then you just get to soak in more of the atmosphere. Don't do what I did two years ago and end up literally running to the start line and over it, doesn't make for a good race!
  • And take something to keep you warm. An old sweater, big bin bag. Something you can jettison with a few mins to go - you have to have the baggage on the truck with 30 mins to go - so you could be in race kit in the rain waiting for 40 mins or more unless you've prepared. 
  • TopSecTopSec ✭✭✭
    I've just discovered my niece's magazine hasn't arrived (it's her first time so she wasn't aware they were out).  I guess if she calls them tomorrow and explains they will send another out or do it via email?
  • Alys6Alys6 ✭✭
    I'm staying at the Intercontinental 02 as I thought it looked close to the Blackheath start. However, it looks quite complicated Has anyone done this journey before? I wondered what would be the route to take using tube & rail, and how long to allow for the journey.
  • North Greenwich Jubilee Line to London Bridge (about 5 stops - 10 minutes) then train to Blackheath (about 15 minutes). I imagine there'll be a few other runners in the hotel going the same way but make sure you follow people going to the same start as you
  • Alys6Alys6 ✭✭
    Thanks SlowTortoise, that's very helpful. I just couldn't work it out from the tube and other maps.
  • Even quicker - Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf (2 mins) then DLR to Cutty Sark (10 mins). Slightly longer walk at the end, but there will be thousands of people doing the same.
  • Rossi71Rossi71 ✭✭✭
    First time I've ever been down in London actually is when I'm doing the race. We've got a hotel booked near Marylebone station. It looks ok on the maps for the trains to get to that start and also not too far away after the race as well. Has anyone stayed around there and had precious experiences of going back and forward from there? 
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Rossi - the public transport system in London is incredibly efficient - the tubes run every few minutes and the connections between tube lines are fairly obvious and colour-coded to make things simple. You won't have any problems so don't worry. Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus then Central line to Bank then DLR out to start area (or any number of other possible combinations). Remember that public transport is also free on VLM day for runners. Just allow plenty of time because the trains may be busy on the day as everyone tries to get to the start area for the same time.
  • If you're near Marylebone station, i would walk a couple of blocks to Baker Street and get the Jubilee line to the relevant mainline station. Unless you're starting at Maze Hill in which case I think you have to go to Cannon Street rather than London Bridge 
  • What's the latest time you should arrive at the start on race day?
  • You want an absolute minimum of an hour once you get to your start. Warm clothes which you can discard as Cougie said, drink, maybe last minute snack for the journey/once you get there.
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • My experience of big races is that you should  queue for the loo then immediately join the back of the queue...
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Or if you're a guy, bring an empty bottle and learn to discreetly pee in it while wearing a binbag
  • Hi - this is my first marathon. Training has been a bit hit and miss as I hurt my leg in early Feb and had to sit out for a month. Since early March I've done a few long runs but I really surprised myself this Friday when I did 23.5 miles in 3:05. I don't really know anything about preparing and tapering but I know this is a good time and I'd like to build on it. I'm trying to find out what I should do now to keep this up and not get too carried away and end up blowing it. Any advice please?
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Ste - for a first marathon, that's a very quick time, so well done. Good that you've managed to run so far in training as well, should give you great confidence for raceday. To answer your question, it's really simple - rest. You have 3 weeks to go. You are now as fit today as you will be on raceday, no matter what you do between now and then. If you try to push yourself, you will gain nothing but you risk getting an injury, which could mean not making it to the start line. Running 23.5 miles isn't easy, particularly as you've run them at such a fast pace (most people will run their long runs far more slowly than you have), and your body will be tired, even if you don't feel it. Your body now needs a chance to recover and to heal and rebuild energy levels. Do not do any more long runs - maybe 13-15 max next weekend and 7-8 the following weekend, but at a slow pace - you do not want to injure anything at this late stage. A few shorter, quicker runs in between to maintain the CV fitness. Don't run consecutive days, have a break inbetween running days. If you didn't do any running for the next three weeks at all, it wouldn't make much difference to your race. Your biggest risk now is trying to push yourself too hard, don't do it.

    You'll start to think you have all sorts of injuries and niggles and paranoia will set in that you haven't trained enough - this is normal. Trust in your training. Try not to over-eat, as you don't need to eat as much as when you were at the peak of your training miles. And in the last couple of days before the race, try to eat a higher proportion of carbs, these will give you the energy you need.

    Your training pace is 7:52 per mile, which is 3:25 for 26.2 miles. If you can do this in training then you can do even better if properly rested and tapered. It's good that you recognise the potential to "blow it", so you need to think about pacing - even or negative splits is the best approach, don't fall into the common trap of setting off like a rocket just because you feel great on the day, this usually doesn't end well. Pick a sensible pace and stick to it, and you can always review at 18-20 miles. If you feel then like you've been holding back then you can speed things up, and enjoy overtaking people in the last few miles. If you go off too fast, it will come back to bite you, and you will have a fairly miserable end to your race. You'll get a PB no matter when you finish, so as you said "don't get carried away and blow it".

    Good luck - what starting pen are you in, and what time did you originally estimate for finishing?
  • Hi all,
    Got my time and pace sorted that I would like to run on the day. My only concern is that a lot of people seem to run over the 26.2 distance. I've seen peoples GPS data that says they ran almost 27 miles. Anyone had any experience of this? Should I set of quicker to achieve my goal?
  • NickW2NickW2 ✭✭✭
    I think there's 2 aspects. Firstly, a lot of people probably do run further, because it's quite a crowded race. And secondly the GPS often seems to get slightly confused around Canary Wharf area (I think mile 17-19 ish).

    The mile markers are very clear, so I would go off them for your times if you can. Pick up one of the pace bands at the expo if you have your target in mind, then you will know what your target is at each marker.
  • Your gps won't work properly in London. Tunnels, underpasses, big buildings bouncing the signal around.
    They have mile markers the whole way though - so pace it manually. Get a timer on your watch and get it to repeat.  So say you need 10 min miles - set the timer to 10 mins and you're good to go.

    If it beeps before you hit a mile post, then you're running too fast.
    If it beeps after - then you're behind.

    You will run 26.2 (or thereabouts), Your GPS won't record it as that. 
  • I normally expect to run about 26.5 miles in London. It's not often I'll get to run the shortest course as measured in any race so whilst the shortest distance between the start and finish will be 26.2 miles you will run more than that. As Cougie says it's easy to pace at London with a huge clock at every mile marker though don't forget that some of those won't be exactly a mile apart either due to logistics.

    ste - pacing the marathon - the first 13 miles should feel far too easy, 13 - 20 you'll feel that you're starting to work a bit harder to hold the pace, at 20 miles it will start to hurt a bit and at 23 it's just time for the kitchen sink. You cannot bank time in a marathon by running a faster first half.
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • Thanks for the info guys. I'll consider everything. I've actually got a pace band printed out. I might try and memorise it! haha
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