Anyone know the time brackets for which GFA (Fast GFA or standard) start runners will be put in?

Reason I ask is I've a GFA based on a 2:57 which I'd assume would put me in the FGFA start (I was in there previously off a 2:55). However, I'm not planning on having a proper crack this year so want to pace round a friend who is aiming for 3:17. She qualified with a 3:27 (18-40) so wondering if we'll be allocated the same GFA pen? And if not, will I be permitted to move from the FGFA to the standard GFA, and can this be done at the Expo?

Hopefully that all makes sense! Ta


  • The FGFA/GFA split is based on numbers rather than time but is reckoned to be around 3:10 or so. Whatever it is, with those qualifying times it's safe to say you'll be on different starts.  I'm not sure if anyone has been able to demote themselves from FGFA but there's no chance you'll be able to do it on the day. Try at the expo but it'll probably be a case of waiting for her at the 4 mile marker.
  • BeddersBedders ✭✭✭
    That's what I was fearing as, having run VLM a few times before, know how congested it gets when the waves merge at 3 miles. From a practicality point of view, does anyone with ridiculously good course knowledge if it's viable to stand to one side (e.g. is the road wide enough) at the four mile marker? Having being royally pi$$ed off at the sheer stupidity of folk just stopping in the middle of the road previously, I'm keen not to become one of those people!
  • Bedders, the 4 mile arch is along Woolwich road, this is a dual carriageway,but at the time you will be passing only the London bound side is open,approximately 300 yards further on is a large,grassy rounderbout by Maryon Wilson park, also toilets,I would suggest that you stand on rounderbout to await your friend, it’s high enough for you to be able to see a good distance back along course, hope all works out, any more info,just ask
  • BeddersBedders ✭✭✭
    Cheers Dave, just the info I was looking for, is it this roundabout you're referring to? 
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2018
    I was debating with someone earlier what constitutes fast gfa. I assume that for a v40 it'll be a slower time than for an open age runner?

    you can now see where you'll be starting as final instructions and numbers available. 
  • Bedders, that certainly looks like the little bugger, hope it serves its purpose, good luck ?
  • BeddersBedders ✭✭✭
    I'll have a go Dave, had best get my mate to wear something VERY specific! Is the roundabout visable from the 4-Mile arch?

    Got my number through which puts me in FGFA whereas my friend is in Regular GFA. So the 'cut-off' is somewhere between 2:57 and 3:27.....! As Dave says, 3:10 seems to be a rough figure. Makes sense I guess, Championship start is 2:45 (I think?) so if all the GFAs (regardless of age/gender) were in together you'd have the 2:46s with the 6:30s....
  • To add info... I had a time of 3:09 (age 46) for good for age but not in the FGFA so guess must have been lower than that... Question as concerned I screwed up the registration... I don't recall adding a target time?... If so I would have stated under 3 hours which is my target... concerned end up in pen9!
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    I've got 3.04 and 42 and not in fgfa so it's pushing sub 3. 
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Yep. 3:05 for me, age 46.
  • MarkJG, the FGFA/GFA split and the pen you go in is based on your actual qualifying time, not any target time you might have.  There aren't many pens on the green start so you'll be fine.
  • Thanks Dave, in fact blue start for me but hopefully not too far back!
  • Bedders, there's a bend about 50yards past the 4mile arch, after that it's clearly visible, maybe if your friend runs near to the centre reservation it will give you a better view from roundabout ?
  • Hiya, never run London before but have a GFA this year, I didn't know there was set zones within the GFA start. Where would I find out if I'm in FGFA? at the expo?
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    By matching your race number with what numbers are in what zones which is in the final instruction mag. You should have had an e mail last week with it all on. 
  • Neat, seems I'm just unobservant. Thanks.
  • SallymaxSallymax ✭✭✭

    Just checked my race number and it seems I'm in blue start even though I have a GFA place.  Is this a new thing does anyone know?  GFA is usually green start.  I'm wondering if it's because I deferred from last year?

  • I just checked my number and I’m in Blue start as well with a 3:02 from last year. That seems very strange, was expecting Green or a FGFA as I was last year.
  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭
    There have apparently been a higher number of successful GFA applications for this year.  As a result my understanding is that VLM have spread the GFA runners out a bit as the green and Fast GFA starts on red have limited space.  In other words nothing to worry about.
  • Wardi said:
    In other words nothing to worry about.
    Apart from the possibility of the GFA goalposts being moved for next year, I guess.
  • rodeofliprodeoflip ✭✭✭
    Or the roasting temperatures forecast for later this week.....
  • Im sure that they had a GFA start at the Blue start last year 
  • <blockquote class="Quote">
    <div class="QuoteAuthor"><a href="/profile/Cheerful%20Dave">Cheerful Dave</a> said:</div>
    <div class="QuoteText"><blockquote class="Quote">
    <div class="QuoteAuthor"><a href="/profile/Wardi">Wardi</a> said:</div>
    <div class="QuoteText">In other words nothing to worry about.</div>
    Apart from the possibility of the GFA goalposts being moved for next year, I guess.</div>

    Well that has happened, big changes. Cap in number of applicants and also target time changes as well as age brackets. Up on VMLM website now.
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    surely this means less runners in the 2.30 to 3.30 finish as if they are doing a 50:50 split men and women it means less runners which are statistically more male finishing around this time? 

    i am on that bracket of having run 3:01 last year at 43yo which would have qualified me for this year and next year - now i cannot rely on that - next year i am 45 on race day but have to still qualify as a 40-44 yo - and even then i'm not guaranteed - its confusing and demolishing!! 
  • Big changes ! 

    Lets see what happens - it sounds like there will be less finishers sub 3 with these rules and then more further back - its not great for GFA blokes but I guess there are other marathons too. 

    Good luck on Sunday everyone. 
  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭
    What’s really going to bake your noodle is that the new times don’t guarantee you a place.  They are just minimum standards. 

    If (as will likely be the case) GFA is oversubscribed, they tighten all acceptance times until they have struck out enough applicants to hit the capacity limit.  

    Boston (30,000 capacity and mostly by time qualification) need you to beat the times by about 3.5 minutes now. 
  • I wonder how many gfa runners there are normally ?

    I'd not be surprised if it's hot this year that some GFA ers defer until next year for better rubniru conditions .
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    puzzled by the statement about if the limit of 3000 for men is reached they will reduce evenly over the age categories but then also say if 3000 runners are faster you will not be accepted - that sounds like the fastest overall get in.

    this is really going to reduce the numbers in 3hr range finishing - its going to go really quiet at the finish after the winners come through
  • It's got to lead to more congestion around the 4hour mark on the course.  
    They've also announced a bit of a wave start this year though for Red and Blue Starts - so that might help avoid some of the congestion ? Quite a good idea really. I know Rock and Roll races do that already. 
  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭
    The only downside of the wave start I can see is that those runners starting at 10:20 - 10:40 are inevitably going to spend more time in the afternoon heat.  IMHO if VLM are going to continue with this they need to start the race earlier.  Both of the Spanish marathons I've done start at 08:30 - the warmth of the afternoon can be spent quenching your thirst! 
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