In short: No time grading in corrals In full: The biggest problem with London is that it is nigh on impossible to gain a place through the ballot. I plan to get 'a good for age' entry to get around this.
If you are lucky enough to get a Ballot place, do not have any ideas of pacing until you get past the first mile, which due to the volume of people you basically end up walking until the field thins out and you can actually start you run. This is enough to ruin most peoples expected times from outset.
That said this will always be a memorable and special race. Date of review: April 11, 2013
In short: A memorable way to clock up 44 marathons! In full: This was my 44th marathon (7th in London). I suffered due to lack of training and the indulgences in a big family feast lasting 10 days (in March, never to be repeated). I walked about 23 miles and jogged a bit, finishing in 7h11m . I had 3 blisters and a pain in my right arch. I did this in memory of my son (1984-2008, cF) and raised about £2,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Date of review: August 24, 2011
In short: Fantastic and hideous in equal measure ! In full: First marathon and hampered throughout training programme by injuries so had to run with heavy strapping and loaded with painkillers, so have a slightly distorted view of the race from 18 miles onwards! Fabulous race and atmosphere until the painkillers wore off... it then felt like hell on earth!! Organisation is amazing and the crowds are unlike anything i've ever experienced before (you just don't get the atmosphere when watching it on tv). Will run it again, hopefully free from injury. Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Worth the effort! In full: It’s impossible not to enjoy being part of this great event. Okay, we mid-pack runners aren’t likely to run great times because of the sheer number of people running – but, hey, we all know that when we set the alarm for 2:30am on the day the ballot opens. Yes, there were a few issues at the blue start but they didn’t spoil what was a great day, and one that I hope to experience again in the near future. Generally, the organisation was spot on (you’d expect it after all these years) – but the race is what it is because of the fabulous crowds who really help 4:30 plodders like myself get through the painful last five miles. Shame, I guess, that most of the “sights” are towards the end of the race…. by that time you’re entirely focussed on keeping yourself moving and can’t appreciate them!! Hopefully I won’t be too many years before I get to have another go. Date of review: July 14, 2010
In short: atmosphere was absolutely buzzing In full: The day was an unbelievable experience, the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing along the whole of the course.
The only celebrities I saw out on the course were Richard Branson and the caterpillar crew – I felt pretty smug as I sailed past them, only to have my confidence shattered when I tried to up my pace when I was overtaken by a Cornetto! Fortunately, I came to my senses and let it go, the problem for me was once I had made the decision to let it go “it was only one Cornetto” I just had that tune going over and over in my head for the next few miles.
The showers out on the course were a great idea on a hot and humid day and I ran through all 7 of them, if only I had dried off properly and changed into dry clothes afterwards perhaps I would not have finished with such horrendous blisters on my feet.
Mudchute Runners’ World support group at mile 17 was really useful – great support and a chance to refuel with something special.
Mile 19 was where I had arranged to look out for my support team and it was a real boost to see them all cheering for me and it was worth loitering a while to dip into the crowd.
Mile 22 through to the end was tough as you would expect – I had only run up to 22 miles in my training and I was definitely into new territory but the bands and the cheering really helped.
The final 2K were less pressure than I thought they would be, I knew I would get inside my target time and I was really able to savour the atmosphere and the setting The feeling when I crossed the line was more of relief that it was over and I had made it, rather than the joy that I had expected, it took a while for me to fully appreciated what I had just done, but the high lasted for days.