Win the ultimate Virgin London Marathon experience

Join our team for the Virgin London Marathon and enjoy an unbeatable training and racing package

Posted: 11 November 2009

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to run your best ever marathon next Spring. For a second year, we've teamed up with Lucozade Sport to give you the chance to win a VIP training and racing package for the Virgin London Marathon 2010.

One-to-one coaching, personalised nutrition advice, your event entry (if you need it), travel and accommodation - you could enjoy all this and more in the run-up to race day (April 25).


  • Entry to the Virgin London Marathon 2010 (if needed)
  • One-to-one coaching and support throughout the duration of your training from one of three top coaches - Steve Smythe, Liz Yelling or Paul Evans
  • Personalised nutrition advice from the Lucozade Sport Performance Team, as well as a four-month supply of Lucozade Sport products to power you through your training
  • Admission to a training day with Liz Yelling in London on February 27, 2010 (return travel and accommodation included)
  • Entry to a new and exciting pacing event at Dorney Lake on March 28, 2010 (return travel and accommodation included)
  • Accommodation in an exclusive London hotel the night before the race
  • VIP hospitality after the race to help you recover like a pro
  • Lucozade Sport Super Six adidas running vest, tracksuit top, trainers and a state-of-the-art Garmin Forerunner 405



Six highly-enthusiastic runners (of all abilities) who are prepared to commit 100% to this exciting project. Motivation and the desire to succeed are much more important than your previous race times - you'll be up for the challenge of following one of our marathon schedules and be prepared to share your training highs and lows with the Runner's World community (both online and in print).

You'll already be a registered member of  and you'll feel at home chatting on our forums, whether you're  analysing a recent session with your mentor, discussing what you ate for breakfast with a sports scientist or simply chewing the fat with other runners.

You'll also be available to attend a meet-and-greet session with the coaches, the Lucozade Sport Performance Team and Runner's World staff in London on Saturday, December 5, a training day with Liz Yelling on February 27 and a pacing event at Dorney Lake on March 28.


Here's what some of last year's team had to say about their experience:

"I've thoroughly enjoyed the Super Six experience. I've learnt a lot about how to train properly and more effectively and also a lot about my capabilities. I've always set my sights too low and I now know that I can and will achieve much more. By training effectively, I'm running faster than I was 20 years ago and hopefully I can continue to improve for years to come." fat face 

Thank you for giving me this fantastic opportunity and making it such a special experience. Steve's generous advice and support has been amazing, not just for me but for all the others who he has helped through their training. I really enjoyed the forums - the questions, advice, support and general camaraderie.  I feel like I've made some fantastic friends. It's been brilliant!" BellyBoyBarnes

"I have been so lucky and privileged to have this opportunity - and I am sure I will be boring my grandchildren with it in years to come. Thanks for all your support, you've been fantastic - supportive and beyond dedicated to the project!" Mystic

"My marathon training has been a fantastic and wonderful journey for me. My target time didn't happen this time, but it will do and it'll feel all the better for it! Huge thanks to each and every one involved." Sue C


Steve Smythe
Steve worked at Runner's World for 10 years and took over the marathon schedules when Bruce Tulloh retired from writing them. Steve has run more than 60 marathons (26 Londons) and as well as holding a PB of 2:29, he has also won a British marathon title in his age group. As far as his coaching record goes - he's helped one runner to British international level over the marathon distance and another to a British age-group record. He also coaches around 30 runners in his running club, whose abilities range from 2:30 to outside five hours.
Liz Yelling
Liz has been competing as a top international athlete for more than 15 years. In 2006, she won the Bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and she has twice represented Great Britain in the Olympics (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). In 2007, she also won the British Half-Marathon and Marathon titles, and is a Lucozade Sport Running Ambassador.
Paul Evans
Paul was a finalist in the 10,000m in both the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He then went on to win the Chicago Marathon in 1996 with a career best of 2:08:51 - a time that, to this day, consolidates his place in the UK Marathon All Time Top 4. Paul is a UKA Level 4 Performance Coach and has worked as an Athletics Development Officer for Active Norfolk since September 2003.


First, download and complete our applicant questionnaire.
As well as some basic personal details,  we'll ask for a brief synopsis of your running background, your target marathon time and your reasons for wanting to join our team. Please return your application to us via email before midday on Wednesday, November 11 2009.

From all the entries we receive, we'll then whittle them down to a shortlist of between 18 and 24 runners across a variety of target times. If you are shortlisted, we'll contact you by telephone after the entry closing date. 

There will then be a second stage of selection. Information about the shortlisted runners will be published on and the RW community invited to vote for the final line-up. The final result will be announced in early December.

All shortlisted candidates will receive a Lucozade Sport Race-Day Essentials bag (packed with products to fuel your running), entry to a new pacing event at Dorney Lake on March 28, 2010 and a year's subscription to Runner's World magazine.


Entries close midday, Wednesday November 11. Shortlisted candidates will be notified no later than Friday November 13.

For further information on the competition terms and conditions (including the dates of training seminars and pacing events), please visit Only entries from persons aged 18 and over will be accepted.

Previous article
Lucozade Sport Super Six 2010: The Winners
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Running Psychology: Improve Your Performance


Discuss this article

It's that time of year again - we’re on the lookout for six super-keen members to train up and treat to an elite support package at next year’s Virgin London Marathon (April 25, 2010).

Whether you’ve set your sights on breaking three hours or want to 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 throughout the duration of your training from one of three top coaches - Steve Smythe, Liz Yelling or Paul Evans
  • Personalised nutrition advice from the Lucozade Sport Performance Team, as well as a four-month supply of Lucozade Sport products to power you through your training
  • Admission to a training day with Liz Yelling in London on February 27, 2010
  • Entry to a new and exciting pacing event at Dorney Lake on March 28, 2010
  • Lucozade Sport Super Six adidas running vest, tracksuit top, trainers and a state-of-the-art Garmin Forerunner 405
One night’s luxury hotel accommodation, travel costs to and from London and VIP hospitality on race day are also included.

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).

We’ve changed the selection process slightly this year  - first, you’ll need to fill out a short questionnaire (before midday, Wednesday November 11) and we’ll then narrow down all the applications to a shortlist of between 18 and 24 runners. Lastly, we’ll be inviting you to vote for the final line-up.

Good luck everyone!

Catherine RW
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 11:28

no thanks

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 11:30

I think it's such a fantastic opportunity for someone. I'd love to do it but can't. Good luck to those of you who go for it though, I look forward to jealously reading all about it!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 11:44

You won't catch me entering this way

no way........hooooooosaaaaaaaaaaay

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 12:37

Is this year going to be like Gladiators or The Kryton Factor.
Might give it a try.

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 12:43

its more like "Bring on the Wall!"
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 12:47

Does this mean we won't get the chance to bitch about the one-post wonders?

I'm very disappointed...

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 12:48

I`d run, walk or crawl for an opportunity like this, count me in.

Woohooooo!!!!!! Even being on the shortlist would be an achievement!!!

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 13:20

You can bitch about me if you like JB
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 13:54

I'm in...applications in and fingers crossed. Would be great to have a chance at such an opportunity...not just the race but the whole build up!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 15:22

At my age, one last chance at trying to run at my fullest ability would be welcome. However probably have no chance of being selected so I will say " the very best of luck" to those that will be. Enjoy the experience...
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 15:46

Gotta be positive, or else what is the point?  Well said "The man of Bronze" - I am with you, it is a great opportunity!  Good luck to the fellow applicants...
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 15:55

I thought I had run enough with one marathon but I'm tempted to try again.  At least I will beat my PB and so I must try. 
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 16:17

I pleased they have done it this way...because the bitching about the one post wonders might have put a few of them off posting again........

Its great to have a mixed bag of runners which includes a beginner because it makes it all more interesting....

 good luck to those who want a place

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 16:19

II might give it a go.  Any help with those 18 milers would be great thou.   motorized scooter anyone
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 16:27

Ooooooh - tempting.  My luck was in when I got a ballot place this year after a number of previous rejections.  Soooo, perhaps luck's still in??  Who knows ... a girl's gotta try.
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 16:56

It sounds pretty exciting actually, as I've always been scared of entering for a marathon, because of a hopefully unfounded belief that I would stop enjoying running, but proper runners probably know how to keep finding the old enjoyment and still improve. Training motivation would much easier if someone else has set you the targets! Might just enter.

 btw anyone want to prove or disprove my theory about marathons taking the inspiration out of running?

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 16:58

Yep I'm in,  good opportunity if out of the blue you get in the team, some great training and advice, some goodies and a run through London!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 17:01

great opportunity....why wouldn't you want to do it? Answers please before I apply!!!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 17:18

Can't think of any reason not to apply.  Have just completed application and sent it off.  What an opportunity!!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 18:34

If this doesnt motivate you...what will??!!  Im putting in an application

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 18:41

Ive entered
I might be doing a race I said I would never ever do again but I blame Flora
and Richard Branson is a mate so you know
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 18:54

Yep, I'll throw my hat in this ring too. I intend to be far more hardcore in this year's training than I was the first time round, and some official help would be extremely motivational and make for great content for my training videos
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 20:03

I've put in my application in too, this is such a fantastic opportunity!
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 20:45

oh I would love to but would get shouted at because I would have to try and hide my cross training "bit" (cough) 

shall I shant I .........

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 21:25

I was going to declare my interest this year but sadly the first compulsory date I shall be getting lost in Wales
Posted: 05/11/2009 at 21:35

I'm in!

Would really really love to be chosen as I was gutted to be rejected and am more than happy to bear my soul at regular intervals. Opportunity of a lifetime

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 21:44

Sent my application off

Even if I don't get picked hopefully I can live the training vicariously through whoever does.  Much less effort I think!

Do you know if the entrants will share much of the training tips on the forum or a dedicated page?  It would be good to see how much work the professionals line them up with and I wasn't around this time last year to see the previous lot.

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 21:45

I cant wait to enter, am really excited about the marathon this year, intrested to see how Virgin sponsoring the marathon will change things.

Posted: 05/11/2009 at 21:59

Clarification for all concerned please.. does 'registered member' of etc mean existing members (with some history on the forums) or anyone who registers now so as to, opportunistically as it were, enter the competition??
Posted: 06/11/2009 at 00:38

I've entered too, it would be fantastic to be trained by athletes of that calibre.

I met Paul in 2007 at an England Athletics training day in Essex, very motivating human being, it was a tough training session but he made it fun at the same time! I remember he had us run out around the edge of a sports field at a good pace, when the whistle sounded we had to sprint in the opposite direction to get back to the start faster than the run out. I'm shure he was taking a few seconds off with each effort back though!!

Good luck to all!

Posted: 06/11/2009 at 01:04

Me too. I'd love to strike a blow for us oldies by doing this.

I found reading last year's blogs inspirational and would love to be able to do that for others. The interaction must be pretty motivational for the participants and the people reading them.

It would also be amazing to meet Liz, Steve and Paul. Liz Yelling was at a Richmond Parkrun that I took part in but I never got a chance to speak to her. She seemed so modest and friendly though.

Posted: 06/11/2009 at 05:21

I ran the London Marathon this year, and followed one of the Runners World schedules for about ten weeks. I stopped following the schedule as I started to pick up overtraining type injuries, but managed to get over them in time to line up for the race. I was interested to see you were recruiting for the Lucozade super six again, an article that I followed with interest last year, but noted that you have so far failed to point out that, inspite of all the expert training and advice, only two of the six were fit enough to race and of those only the one with the least punishing schedule finnished. All done with good intentions I know, but I think you should place greater emphasis on runners being individuals and not fitting generic schedules designed for professionals not us mere mortals. Sorry rant over... good luck everyone!
Posted: 06/11/2009 at 07:43

I put my entry in - am running london for 4th time and feel like i never really achieved  what i want - perhaps this will help,  I'm no record breaker!  i think i forgot to put my forum name on it though?!?! Fingers crossed though!!!
Posted: 06/11/2009 at 09:23

Brilliant opportunity.  Have submitted my entry....  Have not been lucky on the ballot 5 times now, but for the first time, was actually disappointed this year.  Fingers crossed.
Posted: 06/11/2009 at 09:59

I have applied - you have to apply to stand a chance and the best of luck to anyone else applying.

I look forward to reading about those who are successful.

Posted: 06/11/2009 at 10:15

have applied. the threads were all inspirational last year and I will follow the 4h30 one this year whether I'm writing it or not!

(Liam FYI 3 of the 6 started this year.  think this rant has been done elsewhere already... and the 4h30 schedule was definitely tailored for the individual who ran it. )

Posted: 06/11/2009 at 10:24

Wardi wrote (see)
Clarification for all concerned please.. does 'registered member' of etc mean existing members (with some history on the forums) or anyone who registers now so as to, opportunistically as it were, enter the competition??

A very good point I was thinking the same. I have been a runnersworld member for a while now but never posted on the forum really before. And in regards to the member who didnt put there name on entry form, I dont think this matters to much because, like myself not everyone has a forum nickname.

Good luck all

Posted: 06/11/2009 at 10:41

Thanks to everyone who has submitted an application form so far. In terms of being a registered member, we just need you to have a site profile from the off. As in previous years, we're welcoming submissions from both regular forum users and those who are new to posting (but have lots to contribute...).

Hope that helps and good luck!


Posted: 06/11/2009 at 12:34


 When are you likely to be notifying those who are successful and those who were less lucky?

 I am sure it said on the e-mail but I seem to have missed it.

 Thank you.


Posted: 06/11/2009 at 13:11

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