STARTING NUMBERS

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14/04/2010 at 13:37

Hi there,

Im running this year's VLM and have been sent my race number. I am around the 52,000 mark which means I am starting at the red point with charity and ballot runners. I am hoping to do it in roughly 3h-3.15 and I am running on behalf of a university club (oxford) but I the crowd are numbes 33,101- 54,250.Does this mean I am going to be right at the back??

14/04/2010 at 13:42

You don't line up in number order (can you imagine trying to get 20,000 people to do THAT?)

You will be allocated a pen number based on your predicted time (as given on your entry form). You'll see what that is when you pick up your number.

The faster ones go nearer the front.

Edited: 14/04/2010 at 13:42
14/04/2010 at 13:42

No, wait till you get uour pen number at the expo

14/04/2010 at 13:42

On each running number you pick up at the expo is a pen number which indicates which pen you need to go stand in prior to the start. These are based on the estimated finishing time you gave when you applied for a place. If you can't remember the time they'll probably tell you it at the expo.

If you know you've improved and can prove it with a recent half marathon time print out, they may allow you to move forward to a pen closer to the start. 

That way people are grouped by pace.

As for the red start, that is mainly just people who got in via the charity places. As far as I'm aware the blue start is ballot people.

14/04/2010 at 13:49
Is this a wind up? Line up in order!
14/04/2010 at 13:59
Thanks..no its not a wind-up...sorry its my first marathon so wasnt sure how these things worked..had visions of myself spending the first 10 miles trying to jostle past the walkers!! I think I put down 3.15 on my form. Also does anyone know how the runners world pacers can be found??
14/04/2010 at 14:03
can you imagine it....."32412 please stand in front of  32413. We can't start untill you do and 32417 get back people are waiting for you"..............
14/04/2010 at 14:06
The RW pacers are easy to apot they have signs on a pole above their heads and about 1000 people all standing as close as they can to them from the moment they arrive
14/04/2010 at 14:18

Wow 3:15. Great time and will secure you a GFA for next year I think. Good Luck.

 Whats your best 1/2 marathon time out of interest?

14/04/2010 at 14:25
The actual race numbers are allocated at random, so that there isn't bunching at the luggage lorries at the finish.

As others have said, you will be allocated a pen, based on your predicted time.
If you put down 3:15 then likely you'll be Pen 3
3:00 to 3:14:59 is pen 2
sub 3 is pen 1

(generally!)
14/04/2010 at 14:33

Thanks for advice-definitely has cleared things up!! sorry for being so gormless..realise what a ridiculous question that was but thought they bunched people up with numbers to the nearest thousand!! ANDY- my HM PB is 1hr 27 but that was on a running machine..ah so nervous!!

14/04/2010 at 15:12

It all depends on the expected time you gave when you entered the race. From this they will allocate a pen number that is printed in the top corner of your race number. No 1 is fastest. It is normally o.k. to go back a pen but frowned upon to go forward.

Your actual race number is not relevent to your expected time so as long as you got your finish time correct at entry you will be fine.

All the best for the day -getting close now!

14/04/2010 at 15:17

Wow, i hate running on a treadmill. 15 minutes and I am done.

Don't go out too hard aiming for 3:15. You might kill yourself. Try and do a negative split, whats the furthest you have run?

14/04/2010 at 15:21

I see your half mara was done on a tready

I take it you have done long runs outside, too? 

14/04/2010 at 15:27
Not to depress anyone. But 13 miles on a treadmill is nothing like that on the road.
I hope you included hills and air conditioning in your 1/2 mar treadmill run.
14/04/2010 at 15:31

Another not-so ridiculous question made out to appear ridiculous.  if the pens run 1 - 9 (or whatever) there's no reason why they can't also correspond to a numbering system, e.g. 25,000 - 29,999; 30,000 - 34,999, etc.  (Except they don't but now you know...)

Anyway, good luck!

14/04/2010 at 15:33
Someone at the gym ask me are the pens at the start like the ones in a horse race. What!!!!!!!!
14/04/2010 at 15:44
i've got a HM best of 1h28mins, but I'd never match that on a treadmill. So some people think that it is faster on the treadmill, I on the other hand think it is tougher and slower.
14/04/2010 at 15:51

A friend of mine did his first race (a popular local 10k) a couple of years ago, and wasn't sure where he should be at the start.  He asked someone there for advice, and they pointed out the signs saying "over 40", etc., so he went and found the one at the back that said "over 50", because he thought they referred to age.

14/04/2010 at 15:58

I agree PhilPub, there's quite a lot of elitist guffawing in general on these forums aimed at people asking legitimate questions.

As a first time marathoner I would also logically assume that the main numbering system could be used to allocate people to the right pen therefore being numbered 52k in a 34-54k group it's not thick to assume you could be in the pen at the back of the pack...

Good luck Florence! 3h-3h15 is a great time to aim for for a first marathon!

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