My friend and I will be travelling on the Tube to the VLM. I'm on the blue start and she's on red. I have two questions:
1 - Our routes will intersect at Canary Wharf tube station. Is there somewhere within that station where we'll both be able to find and meet at? I know that it will be massively busy. Or is it better to meet up outside Greewich, in which case the same question applies.
2. I'll be okay getting off at Greenwich and walking past the red start to the blue, won't I?
It's my friend's first VLM and I know how scared I was before my first one. I'm not too clued up about the tubes so if someone who is could help, I'd be most greatful
1. Agree to meet on the DLR platform and decide which part of the platform to wait at - back or front. Greenwich might be a bit of a melee but you could try meeting by the theatre that you have pass on the way to the start. It's about 5 minutes from the station and you can't miss it.
2. Yes - the blue start is beyond the red at the top of the hill on Blackheath (head toward the balloons).
Someone on the Real Buzz forum pointed out that the VLM magazine emphasises the importance of using the right station for your start (eg Blackheath for Blue etc) because of some pedestrian restrictions due to the Olympics. Not sure if they are just trying to stop everyone using Greenwich.
I'm on the blue start and originally was going to use Greenwich but have since decided not to take the risk in case there's an unwelcome long walk to get round any diversions! Does any one who lives more locally know what they mean by the pedestrian restrictions?
You should use the tube/DLR station for the appropriate start,it is possible to arrive at the opposite station but will involve a large detour on foot for one of you to get to the other coloured start area.
Greenwich park has security on the gates to the runners area and if your start colour does not match you will be refused entry,and pointed towards the detour for your correct area.
If you wish to run together simply arrange to meet at the side of the road at the point where the routes meet at a suitable landmark.
If you must meet up before the start the church which sits at the top of Blackheath at the blue start area is an easy option.
Hope this helps and see you at the start
while there is a portion of greenwich park which is restricted to red start runners, anyone can enter through the main gate at the bottom - so you could see your friend into their start.
But - exiting the park is hard on marathon day though - the main gate will not be accessible
there is a small gate at the top right hand corner of the park (as you are looking up the hill) which does open directly on to the Heath - they seem to blow hot and cold on whether to leave that open or closed on marathon day though. If that is shut, then you'd have to go back - there are 2 gates which open onto Crooms Hill and these have always both been open on marathon day.
So- far right hand side of park - one at the top of the steep hill and one at the bottom - both clearly signed.
As a local, I know where these are and how to access them - you have to ask yourself whether you want the added hassle of a small detour/route finding exercise before getting yourself settled in at your own start?
As a local (and not a VLM runner having to contend with public transport issues) I think it's worth pointing out that for this particular year, it's probably a very good idea to FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS rather than rely on people's wisdom from previous years, because there are some very particular restrictions in place around the area, relating to the Olympics. For example, my normal walk to work through the park is not currently accessible because of (presumably) another load of preparation for the equestrian events.
The Cutty Sark is beginning to look quite nice though. And there's a new Nando's!
Am a local too though Phil!
The Olympics restrictions are at the bottom of the parl and out on the Heath - they don't impact the Crooms Hill side.....
Hmmmm, thanks for all your answers, I can see I'm going to have to think about this in more depth. I'd forgotten about the added issue of the Olympics.
And we're not going to run together, it was just to meet up and say hi before the race. Maybe it's too much of a hassle...
How silly of me to have thought the biggest challenge on the day was going to be running 26 miles - let's hope we all successfully pass the first test of actually managing to get to the start on time without having a mini race beforehand - good luck to you all on both challenges!
Just to add to the convenience of relying on public transport some kind individual has decided to do engineering work on the King's Cross line to Cambridge on marathon day so instead of an hour's journey home I have the choice of a 2.5 hour journey by train and coach or a 1.5 hr journey from Liverpool Street where it will be doubtless be even more crowded than usual - hope someone takes pity on me and gives me a seat!
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