Both my daughters attended after school athletics club at primary school, it was run by external providers so not free, but the coaches were budding elites doing their 'giving back to the community' bit. It was lots of fun whilst incorporating the basics of good training practice so they both think it's normal now to warm up properly with a few drills, stretch etc before/after exercise. The eldest now 17 had Mo Farah in her coaching team and the younger Scott Overall - we are in SW London so lots of elites around - pretty cool tho
I cut the feet off my Karrimor compression socks and wore the leg bit with my lovely Balega socks for Brighton marathon. Don't really get on with calf guards cos they rub my ankles but this worked a treat - comfy legs + comfy feet
I wouldn't bother with the start, it's so busy with runners that anyone else just gets in the way. You're still fresh and with the adrenaline the first miles fly past. My lot started at Bermondsey at 11 miles, big long road with good views and it was a good mark to aim for. Phil's suggestion for 15/20 miles is excellent. Carry something like a balloon or sign high on a pole that is easy to see or you'll miss each other. Never ever say 'you're nearly there'. Tell runners they're looking good, or looking fresh, or just a bit more than 'well done'. Have a contingency if it all goes wrong cos you may not get a mobile signal. Have a great day!
Easy to get to and very well organised. The organisers seem to work hard to engage with the local community, as a result the local support is fab, like the whole of Ealing comes out to party. As Peter says it is pretty urban and surprisingly hilly so although I enjoyed it and it is local to me I'm not rushing to do it again.
I agree Cal the Runthrough races are great I've done a few of their Wimbledon common halfs and the support at Ealing is second only to VLM in my experience. But this is a mass participation race bang through the middle of London on closed roads and it's never going to cost 20 quid. No one is forced to do it so why moan? I got in this year and probably will cough up, it was my first half a few years ago and for various sentimental reasons I'd like to do it again. I'm a slow plodder and big flashy races like these are sometimes fun to do too and yes hopefully I will pb which in my case is sneaking under 2 hours. And they do at least give you a really nice tech teeshirt which would cost 20-30 quid to buy.