In short: One of running's truly great experiences - are you really going to complain about a t-shirt?! In full: Having watched the race so many times, I felt incredibly lucky to be actually taking part in my first marathon in London in Olympic year.
The first mile-or-so from the blue pen was very stop/start, but once that cleared I found it fairly easy to get into my rhythm and maintain a steady pace.
The scenery is actually quite dull for large swathes of the run, but to be honest I didn't really notice as I was swept up in the atmosphere. In any case, it was all worth it for moments like rounding Cutty Sark or turning the corner to see Tower Bridge.
The support pretty much all the way around was phenomenal and was responsible for me finishing the race despite my knee caving in at 14 miles. It seemed like every person in London was personally willing me to finish. The encouragement from the youngsters at the water stops was equally inspirational, especially considering how long they must have stood there on race day.
I find it very hard to believe that anyone would take part in this run and then make complaining about the size and quality of the finishers' t-shirt their priority. I actually think it's quite nice, but even if I didn't I wouldn't let it colour my enjoyment of one of sport's great events. I suppose some people just like to complain.
All in all, VLM 2012 will live long in my memory and I'll be back on the course in 2013 whether it's as a runner or a spectator. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: The best marathon in the world In full: Not much else to add to the comments given other than to say thanks to all of the people who turned out to watch and cheer the runners plus to all of the marshalls who did so well.
Only change I would make would be at the green start - why do the celebs start on the front line? They should at least have a dividing line allowing the pen 1 runners to go passed on the left of right.
Other than this it is perfect - have run it many times and it is always the highlight of my year to run it again. See you in 2013 London. Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Unforgettable, amazing once in a lifetime experience ! In full: Had one of the best days of my life achieving a personal goal and raising £2500+ for charity as well! You do the london because its the biggest and best fundraising event in the world with the loudest, most enthusiastic supporters! Sure, some things could have been a bit better organised but hey, that's what makes it the London right? Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: Slick organisation, huge crowd support and a run past the best London has to offer In full: Not much else I can add apart from to say the dreaded toilet queues and start pen crush weren't at all as bad as expected. Pretty much constant crowd support keeping moral high. Superb showcase for London - bring on the Olympics! Date of review: April 24, 2012
In full: My first and I'm surprised to say not my last marathon what an absolutely amazing experience the crowds were awesome
I was also on the blue start and dropped myself back to pen 9 as I had been sick in the preceding weeks and didn't get any of the bottleneck others have mentioned I definitely took it easier than planned and listened to my body I had planned it to be my one and only marathon and just wanted to get round under my own steam. I was so hungry at mile 9 and thankful for spectators handing out fruit and biscuits an even during the torrential downpours still the spectators stayed out that last mile was the easiest of the day with all the support
As a larger chested lady the tshirt is comfortable gym/lounging wear but I didn't do it for the tshirt its just a bonus
From a person attending on their own to their first marathon I thought the organisation was good just a bit miffed at the kids who joined the race for quite a while (apparently it was the quickest way to Asda) claiming water at stations and no marshals attempting to stop them oh and I may have been slower than many but still needed a changing area after wandering aimlessly following the sign at the top of the stairs a few of us were kindly turned around by one of the charity's and then informed by St Johns that the sign to the underground carpark had been removed an hour or so earlier!
Nothing though could dampen my spirit for the day little personal niggles were completely overshadowed by the overwhelming support and the unbelievable sense of achievement will I be back? I really hope I am lucky enough to have the chance to run again Date of review: April 24, 2012
In short: It's LONDON! Not perfect, but well worth it. In full: A unique race, brilliant atmosphere and truly emotional- if you only run one marathon, this is the one... Great volunteers, generally good organisation, and a weighty medal at the end.
But... 1) sort out the starts - proper pen discipline, staggered starts, whatever, but lift the crush of numbers; 2) sort out finish area, especially outside runners area and meeting spots; 3) keep spectators off the course; 4)work out the drinks policy - there were maybe too many drinks stops rather than too few as runners weren't holding onto their bottles or finishing them as they knew there were more around the corner.
Much as I loved it, no chance for me of a pb so will probably look to try another one next time. Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: Magnificent In full: Well done Mr Bedford and Sir Richard, another great race and worldwide sporting spectacle. I won't wax lyrical too much because everyone pretty well knows how special the VLM is already! Must note how good the t-shirt is this year though - I think I'll wear it to the Olympicas later this year! Date of review: April 23, 2012
In short: This is London, this is 2012 In full: Sort out the finish area, size the t-shirts and this could be perfect. Great organisation, fantastuc support, nice medal, warm feeling all the way round. I'll be back Date of review: April 23, 2012