I was lucky enough on Sunday to finish the VLM in just under 2hrs 45. As i'm told this means I can get a championship place next year. I'm a club runner but can anyone tell me what a championship place actually is other than a different starting pen?
It means a heated toilet seat in the porta-loos apparently. Enjoy.
Yes, it means you're competing for your club in the UK marathon championship. (If there are three members of the club qualifying for a champs start, they take the cumulative time of the top three runners.)
Logistically it means you get to start right behind the elites on the mass start, i.e. just in front of pen 1 runners, and your official time is the gun time rather than the chip time. You also get a separate enclosure, which usually involves smaller queues for the loos.
x-post. It's all about the toilets!
It means that as well as running the London Marathon you are also competing in the UKA and England marathon championships. If your club has enough runners in the champs competition you're also in the team competition.
Also you get a special assembly area pre-race with no toilet queues.
Haha, another x-post! Seriously, only race I've ever done with such a good toilet:athlete ratio.
Well, seeing as I was never going to win and my club can't even muster a women's cross country team most of the time, let alone a marathon championship team, the toilets and the nice fast start were probably the main perks for me.
Also, congratulations on your time, Kieren!
Many thanks all, if there's no queue for the loos then I'm there. The good for age ones were massive!
Kieren I did my first London yesterday in the Championship start and for someone who suffers a lot from pre race nerves I think it helped me in that respect at least psychologically. As the others have said there is a separate fenced off area and there wasn't much of a queue for the portaloos in there. The baggage lorry was right next to us as well and we could warm up along Shooters Hill Road at the start. Having said that I've not run from another start so I don't know how it compares. But of course you get to line up just behind the elite men.
Just be aware that you are running under the IAAF/Championship rules in terms of clothing as you can't have any advertising or sponsorship - even manfacturing logos can't be over a certain size. I have no idea how strictly this is enforced if at all but I wasn't taking any chances so didn't wear my usual Irn-Bru vest! Fancy dress is discouraged as well. If you want to pick up points for your club in the team event (3 ro a team) you need to wear your club vest.
Saying all that the main benefit for me was that I had until December 2012 to post a qualifying time and wouldn't have been able to run on Sunday otherwise.
And finishing in under 2:45 isn't lucky, well done!
what's your particular training to achieve under 2:45? in terms of of mileage, workout and speed work?
I've trained on average 45 miles / week since Christmas so not a great deal but I tried to always have 3 quality training sessions per week with 3 recovery runs in between. The quality ones consisted of intervals on Tuesdays often with hills, Thursdays made up of a 7/8 mile tempo run and then long slow runs on Sundays. I've got a treadmill in the garage so I used this for the recovery runs which I felt gave my joints a bit of a rest in between hard days.
Hope this helps.
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