Calling all Flora London Marathon 2009 hopefuls...

Let the search for our six-strong team begin...

1 to 20 of 2,109 messages
27/10/2008 at 12:14
We’re on the lookout for six super-keen RW members to train up and treat to an elite support package at next year’s Flora London Marathon (April 26).

Whether you’re aiming to break 3:00 or complete the distance for the first time, we’ll work with you to help you achieve your marathon goal by giving you:

• One-to-one coaching and support from one of three top coaches - Steve Smythe, GB Olympic athlete Liz Yelling or Nick Anderson
• Personalised nutrition advice from the Lucozade Sport Performance Team, as well as a four-month supply of Lucozade Sport products
• Entry and return travel to key warm-up events
• Opportunity to attend two hands-on training seminars with Liz Yelling
• Lucozade Sport Super Six adidas running kit (including trainers) and a state-of-the-art Garmin Forerunner 405

A night’s luxury hotel accommodation, travel costs to and from London and VIP hospitality on race day are also included in this fantastic prize (read more prize details).

You don’t even need a place in the race; we can take care of this for you (but we also want to hear from those who’ve already got a place, either through the ballot, their club or a charity).

In return, we’d like you to commit to following one of our marathon schedules and sharing your experience with Runner's World for the duration of the project. In particular, you’ll feel comfortable keeping a training diary and working with your coach here in the forums.

Simply nominate yourself (or a fellow forumite, or second an existing nomination) on this thread, in no more than 250 words, before midnight, November 7.

Brief running history:
Reason why we should train you:
Predicted marathon time:

Get nominating and good luck!

Catherine RW
Competition Terms and Conditions
Edited: 27/10/2008 at 12:15
27/10/2008 at 12:33

Name: Not Greased Lightning

Brief running history:

I have been running on and off since 1999 when I decided to have a go at the GNR, this was my first race, trained haphazardly, and finished it in 2:25. My next race was the 2004 Robin Hood Marathon which I felt I trained for quite well and finished in 4:37. Having found that my training wasn’t as good as I thought, and having to run walk the second half. I then decided to get better at this running stuff and worked hard to get a half marathon PB of 1:37 and a 10k of 44:42. Not earth shattering times but reasonable.

I then got caught up in the IM talk and have just trained for and completed IMUK in 14:10. I ran walked the marathon section in 4:56. So have still not run a marathon. I have a ballot place for next year having deferred this years place as I didn’t feel I could train effectively for an IM and a quickish marathon.

Reason why we should train you:

I am a normal bloke, not the fastest not the slowest. I am dedicated and work hard. I want to run to my full potential and as such believe that a sub 3.15 is possible for me, this would also give me a good for age time. I think that I am capable of this and hope that I have been supportive to others.

Predicted marathon time: Sub 3.15. (And as close to 3 as I can do!)

27/10/2008 at 12:57



Running history:

I started running 6 years ago to raise money for charity and haven't stopped either!  I'm 51 years old and have just completed my 15th marathon (including 2 ultras). 

I have run 4 London Marathons now, my best time was 4:50 in 2006, but for the last 2 years I have taken my knitting with me to get the most publicity for my charity (and a Guinness World Record for me!) and my times have slowed right down.  I have  a lot of experience in gaining publicity (Radio, TV, newspapers and magazines) and have become a 'media volunteer' for the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

I run 35-50 miles a week but my training has always concentrated on putting in the miles rather than doing speed work.

Reason why you should train me:

I've never really bothered too much about my times as I've been focusing on just getting round in one piece.  However, next year I'd really like to have a go at getting my time down to 4:30 which I believe will be achievable with the right training schedule as I am totally committed and will really give it my best shot.

If you want to read more about what I've done, please take a look at  My account of the 2008 London Marathon and there are lots more articles on there about previous races.

Predicted marathon time:

4:30 - I believe that with the right training and my own perseverance I will be able to achieve my goal.

Edited: 27/10/2008 at 13:01
27/10/2008 at 13:03

Hi, my name is Stephanie Jackman and I am in the Army (TA) .  I have just decided to run the London  to raise money for charity.  My reason for nominating myself for this competition is because I want to cross that finishing line, would like to feel the support of a team behind me to get me through the training and to ensure I achieve my goal, answer all my questions and to know that if I follow a programme I WILL make it.  I am 45 years of age (46 by 26 April 09) and as you would expect am disciplined and take personal pride in keeping myself fit mainly as a way to keep my weight down but also as I believe that being fit in body keeps you fit in mind.  I have always run and gone through stages of running races but also periods of just being a recreational runner.  I always get very nervous before races in case I cannot perform which tends to put me off racing.  I ran the London Marathon in 1996 (3.58) and have done a number of half marathons (1.36 - 1.45) and 10k (55 - 75 mins) races over the years plus a number of cross country races like the 100k race across the south downs (1998) (17 hrs!).  I intend to complete the race in sub 4.00. 

Edited: 27/10/2008 at 13:10
27/10/2008 at 13:19

Name: Ashley Langton 

Brief running history:

I took up running after rupturing my ACL playing football and entered my one and only full marathon in New York in 2002 finishing in a time of 3hr 56 mins.  This should have been the catalyst for my new running career but since then I have only managed to run the Great North Run and a few 10k races despite regular training runs.

Reasons why RW should train me:

I try to run as often as possible (either on a treamill or outside) and believe being chosen by RW would enable me to train to my full capacity as I feel I could possibly run 3hr 30 mins with the right training and possibly even quicker if my belly was to get smaller!  I am a normal 32 year old chap with three young children who would benefit from the structured coaching sessions.  I have read past features on those lucky enough to be previously chosen and have always secretly wished I would one day get the same once in a lifetime opportunity.

Since New York, I have always watched the London Marathon on tv and have often thought about running London but never really had the guts to enter - hopefully this will change! 

Predicted Marathon Time:

Would love to beat 3hr 56 mins and believe 3hrs 30 mins is possible with the right advice and training.

27/10/2008 at 13:21

I started running in May 2005 to keep fit and lose my pot belly.  I was no longer playing football often to maintain a reasonable level of fitness and  I was determined I was not going to move up to 36" waist trousers.  The only thing my gym membership was exercising was my bank blance.  Later that year I ran my first 10k.  The enjoyment of competing in races and the community I found with runners real and virtual ensured I kept at it.

The goal looming in my head was to run a marathon and with my 40th birthday aproaching in March 2007 I resolved to do so.  I entered the Duchy Marathon and secured a Golden Bond place for FLM2007 with the British Heart Foundation.  Despite inadequate training I completed the Duchy in 4:52 and was confident I would improve on this at London.  Four days before the race I came down with tonsilitis.  I ran anyway and dragged my sorry butt home in hugely disappointing 5:04.

My long-term running goal is to run a marathon in a time I am proud of.  My half-marathon pb is 1:51 and I am sure I can manage a 4 hour marathon.  I have subsequently entered two more marathons but have not made it to the start owing to injury and family circumstances.   I feel that with this expert support I will be able to achieve my goal and top-up the money I raised for the BHF in 2007.

27/10/2008 at 13:24
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <woNotOptimizeForBrowser/> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-font-weight:bold;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {pageection1;} --> Name: Mark Edwards
Brief running history: After seeing my brother run the marathon in 2004 it inspired me to take up the habit get fit, and enjoy what felt like a party atmosphere at the next London marathon. I got into the 25th London marathon with a charity place and ran it in just under four hours. Since then I’ve largely been just trying to keep myself fit by doing 10ks and half-marathons,
Reason why we should train you: In 2009 I want to up the ante again and the help and support of the Runners World trainers would give me the confidence and skills to help me achieve my goals. I have a place for London and throughout the year I hope to run seven marathons in seven months, for a charity called the Lymphoma Association, to celebrate my seventh year in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Before London I have entered both the Barcelona and Paris marathons. Having the Runners World team with me would really help me in achieving this feat. I’m also currently suffering from a minor (but lengthy) back injury which I’m currently able to run on, albeit with slight discomfort afterwards, so the advice of the team would be really useful in conquering that.
Predicted marathon time: Without the help of Runner’s World I reckon somewhere just over the 4 hour mark. With them – who knows…!
27/10/2008 at 13:24

Hi Catherine,,,, Here goes.

Name.. Gatton

Running History.....On and off ( more of) I have been running for about 20 years.( I am 63 years old)Have run many half marathons and full marathons around the globe However I have never had any structured training to go by hence my  results havn't been that good. Like alot of other runners I have used a bit of this training method and a bit of that and in the end have ended up confusing myself.

Reasons why I would like you to train me. 

My friends say "you did't you do well at your age" but that isn't what I want to acheive before I hang up my racing days.I would like to achieve a sub 5 hr marathon just the once.Yes, I know you will receive many request for this opportunity to join in with your training ...I would like mto prove to others that you can acheive a dream even at a senior age if you put your mind to it.

Predicted Marathon Finish

As stated above sub 5 hrs would be a dream.

Thank you for your time to read this...

27/10/2008 at 13:38

I love running and have been doing the odd half marathon and 10k run since I was old enough to enter, unfortunately I didn't realise how much I loved running until May this year when I tore the ligaments in my ankle, my physio has been going well and I have recently been told I can start running again, my running is still restricted but there is no reason to feel I won't be ready for the marathon in 6 months time. I am itching to do a full marathon and entered the London ballot this year before I injured my ankle, however did not secure a place.

My half marathon PB is 1 hr 43mins and 10K is 45mins, taking into account my lack of training recently I think a sub 4 hour 30min marathon will be a target easily reached. 

To win this competition would give me the boost I need to get me back on the running wagon. I don't have the most amount of running experience and the expert training and advice would keep help me understand and acheive my goals with more passion and enthusiasm than before. If I'm chosen prepare to watch me grow through my training and readjust my time goals as my fitness for running improves.

27/10/2008 at 13:40
Name: Dave Bettley

Brief running history:
I started running in January 2008 when I was convinced to sign up for the Loch Ness Marathon.

In March I ran a 10k in 57minutes. In June I took part in the Midsummer Munro on Box Hill, finishing in 2hours 40minutes and had an amazing time despite the fact it was the hardest thing I'd ever done. I followed this up with another 10k in 49 minutes and during training a half marathon in 1hour 50minutes.

Unfortunately Loch Ness ended in failure, at 25km a pain in my knee became unbareable and I dropped out of the race. This was the single most disappointing thing I have ever experienced. Ten months of training ending in failure. I was crushed and have not restarted running.

Reason why we should train you:
I hated running in school and PE in general, after leaving I ceased all exercise. In September 2007 I weighed 15st 10lb on a 5ft 7inch frame. My body fat percentage was 33%.

I assumed that distance running was just something I could never do and that I would always be obese. In january a friend of mine convinced me to join him for Loch Ness. We started training and over the last 10 months I have shed 4 stone and dropped to 17% body fat.

The most surprising thing though, is that I now truely love to run.

After failing to finish in Loch Ness I am ready to bounce back and complete my next marathon in a good time.

Predicted marathon time: sub 4hr.
27/10/2008 at 13:41

Name    Karen Quinn

Brief running history  I started running 20 years ago to lose weight and to join my hubby in races although I could never keep up with him.  Over the years I have run many marathons, a lot for charity, the fastest being 4hrs 33.  I have also done lots of halfs and 10ks and one ultra.   I just ran to enjoy myself and keep fit.  I was very focused and did approx 45 miles per week.

Reasons why you should train me.   Over the last few years I lost my focus and only ran about 10 miles per week.  The weight went back on big style and I lost the fitness levels I had.  I am now 54, overweight and unhappy.   Many people say I will never regain the level of fitness and running I had and don't think I can lose the weight again.  I would like to prove them all wrong and show that even at my age it can be done.   Having this fantastic opportunity to follow a Running World schedule and have focused training and excellent coaching would give me the focus and determination to get myself back on track and get back to something I really enjoyed.  

Predicated Marathon Finish Time  To go under 5.30 would make me so happy and show that I am not too old or fat to take to the roads again.


27/10/2008 at 13:41

Hello Catherine,here goes nothing

Running history:

I started running in the January of 2001 after having secured a place in the FLM. i had decided to enter to raise money for breast cancer care who looked after my mum during a breast cancer scare. i was 16 stone and very un-fit but i trained as hard as i could and managed to finish in 4.42 over taking Sir Stev redgrave on the way!! i then joined aclub as i was hooked and managed to get an entry for 2003 dropping my time to 3.09. i ran in 08 and managed 3.04 but hit the wall at 21 miles after going through 20 in 2:14. i also run fell road and XC for my club Horwich. 

REasons why i need you to train me.

I have narrowly missed out on 3 hours twice now due to preparing in correctly. the trouble is i don't know where i went wrong. i have three kids now under school age so finding time to train can be a bit of a challenge meaning your input into getting the best out of my training would be crucial. i also work for myself and running is my stress reliever. i love running but running is a spotr you can enjoy even more when you are doing it well. 

Predicted marathon finish.

I am hoping for as close to 2;45 as possible. i thought i was capable of sub 3 this time but i hit the wall and like i say finished in 3.04. with a bit of luck i can have you help me do it 

Thanks very much, Nick.

27/10/2008 at 13:47

Well here I am!  I would love one of these places!

I joined a running club 2 years ago, and have gone from 1:16:01 to 1:01:37 on a 10K.  I have done 2 half marathons and loads of 10ks and 5 ks and I love my running.  I have shrunk from a size 16 to a size 12/14 which is lovely and I feel sooo much healthier!

I never wanted to run a marathon and then 4 months ago my running club friends bullied (yes!) me into the team for the Beachy Head Marathon 2 days ago.  I never thought I would finish, it took my 7hours 40min and I cried at the end I was so proud I had done it.  I loved it (although boy I still hurt today!)

 I did enter the London ballot and was rejected - I thought I would be relieved but I was hugely disappointed.  I ran/walked Beachy Head but I would love to have a chance at the Big One, and run it.

I would like to aim for a time beginning with 5 hours, whether 5:05 or 5:55.

xx Alex

27/10/2008 at 13:47

I would like to be chosen, firstly so that I can raise money for the Parkinson’s Disease Society and secondly, to have a great time. To train, blog and run the London marathon with your support would make the coming year unforgettable.


About ten years ago my mother was diagnosed with Parkinsons. She is now unable to anything for herself and is doubly incontinent. The society has provided invaluable help to my father and I am trying to do something in return to help other sufferers.


Not having run since my school days I undertook my first race in June ’08, aged 48 raising £260 and finishing the 10k in 56 minutes. My second race, in October was the Royal Parks Half, finishing in 2 hours 1 minute. With your proper, structured training, I would aim to complete the run in around 4 hours.

27/10/2008 at 13:54

Name.. Nicola Bates

Running History.....

I started in June, with a first aim of the London 10k in July, which I completed, yesterday I ran my third 10k, with the aim to start doing half marathons from December. 

Having appreciated the training effort needed for half marathons and full marathons I have now given up smoking, to allow my lungs to do their job.

to be able to have the confidence to train properly and to complete a marathon would be something that I would never have felt I could achieve

I 25 and am a generally fit person (other than the past history of smoking) having played hockey for the previous six years 

Reasons why I would like you to train me. 

I would like you to train me, as I believe its something I may not have the opportunity to do on my own. 

 Each time I set myself a challenge, first the 10k (tick) then the half marathon( fingers crossed, will be ok from Dec) and finally the marathon - but I am in no doubt that to be successful I need some experienced help! My commitment would be above 110% and I would put my heart and soul into making the most of this opportunity.  I would also like to run for a charity that tends not to get much exposureI believe I have shown commitment in giving up smoking (obvious one I know)and putting my hockey on hold until I reach my achievment of completing a marathon

Predicted Marathon Finish

I would like to finish in 4.30, based on my target time of half marathons in 2 hours.

27/10/2008 at 13:59

Name    Cathy Davies

Brief running history  I started running around 5 years ago to improve my fitness, and was quickly bitten by the running bug.  I now compete in local races around twice a month, distances from 10k up to 1/2 marathon, and would love to make London my first marathon.  

I love the community atmosphere of a local village race but I also love the buzz of a big city race, and have completed, amongst others, the Great North Run. 

Reasons why you should train me.   I suffer from Type 1 Diabetes and find running helpful in controlling my condition; however it can also be very difficult to balance blood sugars during and after running. I am aware that there are many other diabetic runners and I think it would be useful for readers pick up tips on the way I manage my condition whilst training for an arduous race distance such as the marathon.

I am also planning on completing the Marathon des Sables, ideally in 2012 which is the next available race, I would see training for the Marathon distance as a stepping stone towards the ultra race distance

Predicated Marathon Finish Time  3.30 - 3.45

27/10/2008 at 13:59

Hi, I'd love it!

Name: Jezza_B

Brief running history: Started 8 yrs ago to help with footy fitness, but gave up footy in 2003 due to combination of fatherhood, old age, ever decreasing ability, and fact I enjoyed running much more without a ball to worry about.  Have done 6 marathons, and plenty of shorter road races and xc.  Active member of local running club.  Had a great run, by my standards, in FLM08 to pb with 3.02 at age 40 (previous best in 2004 was 3.11) so have a "good for age" place for FLM09.  Highest weekly mileage in training was 36, off 3-4 runs p/w.

Reason why we should train you: Negative split at FLM08 showed I paced it pretty well, a few tweaks to training and I can get under the 3 hour barrier.  Maybe with help, I can achieve even more. 

Predicted marathon time: without your help, maybe, 2.59. With professional help, definitely quicker.

27/10/2008 at 14:02

: Victoria Gibbs (age 21)

Brief running history: Started jogging: age 14
Ran my first marathon London 07 (for charity) after very little training due to what turned out to be Piriformis syndrome, a busy 2nd year of medical degree, and didn't quite cope with the heat - ended up 5h17. Wasn't happy! But was incredibly happy I didn't give into the urge to lie on one of those St John Ambulance Stretchers!

Motivated to train for Paris 08, got a tibial stress fracture during training, perhaps I was a little *too* motivated.... and had to take the 8 weeks off before the marathon. Enjoyed the marathon immensly and finished in 4h47 which was fantastic given I hadn't run for ages!

Now: I have a ballot place for London 09 and am already 1 month into training, having just about brought myself back to "pre stress-fracture" levels!

Reason why we should train you: I'm highly motivated and find I motivate other people to run as much as myself! Never make excuses such as "I'm too tired to run" as find it a bit silly as I'm training to run through exhaustion! Always see the positives out of a run, even 'bad' runs, and look to how I can improve next time. Good at motivating myself to get out on those 19 milers, however lack a fair amount of knowledge in how to train for speed and intervals and think we could really work together on this one! I think I have a lot to learn about training but am so excited about it!

Predicted marathon time: 4.29 but the sky's the limit!?

So please pick me! Now to read back on what others have said and kick myself for not saying it myself

27/10/2008 at 14:12

Name: M.ister W 

Brief running history: I've been running for 5 years, working my way up to my first marafun (FLM) in 2005.  I finished the race but was well below my expectations.  I was delighted to finish but disappointed with my time.  Although I continued running I very soon turned to the dark side and took up triathlon.  On the way to tackling Ironman in 2007 I decided to face down my marathon demons in Dublin.  Unfortunately it was even worse than FLM and I finished well down on my target.  Of course I then had the opportunity to run a third marathon as part of Ironman but I can't really compare times as 180km of cycling before the run tends to slow you down a bit.  Even so, I was less than 30 minutes off my PB.

Reason why we should train you: After a couple of bad marathons you start to get the feeling that maybe 26.2 miles isn't the distance for you.  I've done a couple of ultras and had a great time and I'm quite happy with my half marathon PB so what's the problem with 26.2 miles?  That's a question I'd like an answer to.  Am I just doing the training wrong, do I need to do something different during the race or should I hang up my running shoes and take up knitting?

Predicted marathon time: That's a very good question.  My PB is 3:57 and my half marathon PB is 1:37.  Can you see the problem?  3:45 would make me very happy.  3:30 would be better than sex. 

27/10/2008 at 14:14
Name: HoggleBrief running history: Enjoyed running at school but focused on netball throughout university. I started running again in 2004 to try and off-set the Heathrow injection (mysterious injection sneakily given to New Zealanders when they arrive from home - causes rapid and unattractive weight-gain! Or possibly its something in the beer - not sure!). Loved it and have done 10k's and 2 halfs. Entered FLM last year as something to aim for after losing my brother in May and to raise money for CRY. Stopped in my tracks by ITBS in Jan and after 9 months of hard work rehabilitating my knee am back out running again - and starting to regain my sanity!! Reason why we should train you: I have learnt a lot about my body and how it works/doesn't work over the last 9 months and need some guidance on the best sort of training for me to ensure that I improve and get myself around the marathon without setting off my knee problems again or gaining any other injuries. I have stayed at 10 min mile pace - I really want to improve this speed – there is a much faster runner hidden away but I need some help on the types of training I should do to do this.I raised a LOT of money last year but never got to the race, this time I want to repay all those people faith in me and make my brother proud.Predicted marathon time: 4:55
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