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: Awesome race, awesome atmosphere In full: Where do I start? Superb crowds, iconic scenery, brilliantly organised, awe-inspiring. My first and only full marathon so far. You're made to feel like a hero by all the crowds and anyone else in the city who sees you wearing the medal afterwards. It may have hurt like hell but don't regret any of it. A must-do for all wannabe runners. Date of review: November 18, 2012
In short: Brilliant. Defines atmosphere, and great fun In full: This particular race didn't go well for me (calf pull half way round), but that isn't the fault of the race. It was brilliantly organised, and good enough to make you want to run a qualifying time! Date of review: September 3, 2012
In short: I done it!! At last! In full: 4th attempt at a ballot place and I got in! Its not a hard course (he says, its a blooming marathon!) but the number of people put pay to any PB potential I'd say - GPS system picked up an extra mile of running due to the weaving in and out of slower runners that over-estimate their finishing time - but hey, it's the LONDON MARATHON! Biggest one in the world, the fun run, the one that 99% of runners want to do and I have! Would always do it again but wont under-estimate miles 21-25 which really are not my friends!!
In short: Huge event and experience everyone should try In full: My 2nd LM, last one was back in 2005. I trained very hard for this race and overall greatly enjoyed the experience and atmosphere, once I'd written off and accepted I wasn't going to get a PB.
There was some pretty bad congestion in the first mile or two coming from Blue pen 4 and I was forced to stop and walk a couple of times, very frustrating. Took a long time to get into a settled rhythm because of the frequent stop/start nature; I'd suggested the course has probably reached it's maximum capacity and it would be great if they could vet entrants a bit better somehow, far too many people in faster pens that shouldn't have been there.
However, the support and atmosphere generated by the great UK public blows other big city marathons I've done out of the water (Paris + Berlin). I will keep applying to do this run - maybe one year I'll get a clear run at it as I'd love to do my PB here, but if not I will make sure I enjoy and savour the atmosphere. Date of review: May 14, 2012
In short: Totally lives up to the hype In full: As far as atmosphere is concerned, I never expected any race to beat the Great North Run, but I was wrong. Absolutely amazing atmosphere from the start to the finish. I loved everything about it, the camaraderie, the crowds were spectacular, Tower Bridge, the pacers were great too. To top off a perfect running experience, I finally broke 4 hours so a marathon PB as well. Date of review: May 14, 2012