Crowds & PBs

I ran the Stockholm marathon 2 years ago in 3:26, with about 10,000 entrants.
I got into the FLM in 2003 for the first time, and I'm targetting 3:15, but I'm not sure if this is realistic, given the 30,000+ running. Does anyone have any idea much difference the much larger number of runners in FLM make to peoples PBs?


  • With an estimated time of 3:15 (assuming that you also put this on your entry form) you should be put into pen 2 at the start.

    When I first ran the FLM in 2001, I estimated 3:15, started from pen 2 at the blue start, and finished with 2:55. Crowds really weren't a problem at all - I was over the start line in 40 seconds, and wasn't affected at all after the first mile or so. However, if you are starting further back, I understand that it is more of a problem.
  • Thanks...thats encouraging. I think (hope!)I put 3:15!! Is it possible to tell from the number sent to me what pen I'm going to be in?
  • twodogs-

    i believe u will not hear re pen number until you register and actually collect your number from hq
  • No - I'm afraid not. Apart from elite/championship numbers, there is no relationship between number and starting pen. You could always ring and ask. Or, when you register, if you find that you've been put into a slower pen (there will be a little sticker on your number) - beg to be up-graded. I'm not sure how much luck you'll have with that, however.
  • Two Dogs,

    Donutto is spot on, I ran a PB Sub 3 ( 2:56) in London. Get yourself in the correct pen
    The first 1 or 2 miles will be a little congested, which can work in your favour and stop you
    starting too fast. After that, you will have space to run your own race.

    So, no excuse for not running a PB then..!!! ( Just to add a little more pressure on!!!)

  • Juggar - you spotted my cunning plan....I'll have to come up with a better excuse than "there were too many people in the way"!!
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    I put 3.30 for 2002, and started in pen 3,
    took just over a minute to start.
    3.15 start in pen 2.

    I've run FLM 5 times and if you get a start near the front (which you should) then there are no problems with crowds.

    Good luck with the pb.
    Didn't make it through the ballot this year , so I've got the 'marathons worldwide' brochure out.

    North Pole seems a snip at $8,500.....
  • I can highly recommend Stockholm in June...maybe slightly warmer than the North Pole one!
  • Dustin,

    Are'nt you going for a place via the 1000 miles in 1000 hours ??
  • WardiWardi ✭✭✭
    Last year I put down 3.14 as an estimated time but my previous best was a mere 3.18. Sure enough when I picked up my number at the exhibition I was in Pen 3. In other words you are normally penned according to your previous best, not your hoped for time.

    Now, don't tell anyone I told you this but..I was prepared for this minor setback. I had a couple of sets of results with me that showed my recent times in a 10 mile and half marathon race. I took this evidence to the help desk (next door to the number collection points) and asked the assistant if I could be promoted to pen 2. He cast an eye over my times, said 'we don't normally do this' and placed a number 2 sticker over the top of the number 3 sticker. I am pleased to report that I did not let the kind gentleman down, sub 3.15 was indeed achieved.

    I was through the start in 1 minute, found the first couple of miles fairly congested but was into my desired pace by miles 3/4.

    Best of luck to you Two Dogs.
  • Wardi...thats sounds like a good plan...I'll take along my Hasting Half result just in case (assuming that goes well!)..thanks for the tip..good luck to you too

    EvilPixie...sadly,no.....South London!!
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Mr C - yes I did,but if you find the 1000 mile thread, You'll find that all forum applicants were rejected before the play-offs.


    On a seperate note I'm not sure Wardi is right that you are penned according to your previous best.(where would debutantes start?)
    As I said in my earlier post I put 3h30 for 2002 and was allocated 3, my previous best was (officially) 3h54,surely that wouldn't have given me a pen3 start?
  • by the sound of it, there doesn't seem to be much difference between pens 2 & 3, in the time it takes to cross the line...and as the time is chipped, that lag doesn't matter. I guess the nearer to the front of the pen you are the better (no-one else will have thought of that!). Just so long as there aren't too many pantomime horses, london buses and deep-sea divers in front!!
  • Yeah you might be right 2dogs but as last year I had estimated 4:30 and was in pen 8. I was held up by a lot of slower punter infront of me, whom I had to overtake. I was a little cheesed off.
  • I know the feeling SwissB...I remember catcing up with slow runners running in groups, 5 abreast..practically had to shoulder charge them out of the way! On the plus side I think being slowed down a bit at the start probably helped in the long run, otherwise I'd have probably gone off too quickly
  • I was very please at Glasgow when the tape between pen 1, which I was in and the elite broke an I got a really clean start and was not held up at all. During the first 200 yrds I moved gently over to the right hand side of the road and into my race pace. I took 10 mins of my pb!!!! Even with the chips I reckon that 3 or 4 mins of that was getting a clean start.

    I might be taking copies of race result to back up a lower start pen too this year my marathon pb is 3:59 but I am hoping to run 3:15. Over the summer without too much training I ran a 1:34 half and know I can train to keep this pace for the full marathon.
  • there'll be hundreds of us doing that! I ran my slowest hastings last year in 1:31 with no-where near enough training, then badly sprained my left ankle 3 weeks before Stockholm, so couldn't make it...v. pissed off as I had been going really well on the Higdon Advanced 1 plan. The ankle has really only felt good again since mid-Oct. Anyway, I'm back on the same training plan, so fingers crossed...good luck to you SwissBobby..are you in the URWFRC?
  • SwissBobby..I've just been back to main forum...obviuosly you are in URWFRC...doh!!
    I'll put my details on there...
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