Pacing Groups At The Virgin London Marathon

Your Pace Or Mine?

Once again, Runner's World invites you to enjoy the free pace groups we lead around the Virgin London Marathon. All you need is a place in the race - you don't need to register with us separately.

We'll be leading six groups:

  • 6:52-minute miling (just under a 3:00 marathon)
  • 8:00 miling (just under 3:30)
  • 9:00 miling (just under 4:00)
  • 10:00 miling (just under 4:30)
  • 11:00 miling (just under 5:00)
  • 'Get You Round' (jogging pace, with a one-minute walk break after every five minutes, finish in approx 5:15).

How to find our pacers at the start

Your Pace Or Mine?
There'll be a pacer for each time band at both the blue and red starts. Each pacer will be in the start pen that corresponds to their target pace (see below), and they'll be holding up big boards showing their times.

The picture on the right shows the RW Pace Team at the Hastings Half-Marathon - holding boards to match 13.1 mile target times.

Our pacers will be in the following start pens:

  • 6:52/mile - pen number 1
  • 8:00/mile - pen number 3
  • 9:00/mile - pen number 5
  • 10:00/mile - pen number 7
  • 11:00/mile - pen number 9
  • Get-you-round - pen number 9

(The pen positions above are based on last year. They should be the same each year, but do check at our Marathon Expo stall beforehand - you'll find us at stand 148).

If the time you predicted when you applied for the marathon is different from the actual time you want to hit with a pace group, you may find you've been allocated to a different start pen from your pacer. You'll have to go to your allotted pen and aim to meet the pace group as you run.

Who are the pacers?

Our pacers are experienced Runner's World staff and friends. Some of them have been helping runners hit their time targets since we first paced the London Marathon in 1998.

Find out what the iconic race is like from the other side with our pacer's story.

Our timings and what they mean

Our pacers will be starting their watches at the start line. Why? Because your official race time is calculated from when you cross the start rather than when the gun is fired. It's good news for the pacers - it means they don't have to run extra-fast to make up the time they took to cross the start line - but it does mean that if you start before a pacer and then hold back to join them, you might not clock the official time you want. In this instance, we'd recommend you check with the pacers to see how the time on your watch compares with the time on theirs.

How do I behave in the pacing group?

Discover the dos and don'ts of running in a pacing group and find out more about the RW Pace Team's 14-year legacy.

Ask us more...

Don't hesitate to email us if you have any more questions. Better still, drop by our stand at the London Marathon Expo or listen to our presentation (see below for details) before the race. The stand will always be manned, and members of the pacing team will be there in person as often as possible. See you there - and good luck!

Expo Pacing Presentation

We'll be explaining our London Marathon pacing service and answering all your questions at the London Marathon Expo. Listen to our presentation on the following days:

Wed: 11.50, 14.30, 15.55, 17.55
Thurs: 11.40, 14.00, 15.30, 17.30
Fri: 11.20, 14.05, 15.55, 17.35
Sat: 10.20, 12.40, 15.00

Powered by Timex

Proud sponsor of the Runner's World Pace Team, Timex has been helping runners keep time for 25 years. The official timepiece of the RW Pace Team is the all-new Timex IronMan Run Trainer™ GPS watch, which is due to launch in the UK in February 2012.

With distance, pace and speed functions plus other great features, you can trust the Run Trainer to keep you on track and help you focus on getting the most out of your running. To register your interest in the Run Trainer, leave your details at runnersworld.co.uk/runtrainer and we'll let you know as soon as it hits the shops.
Timex IronMan Run Trainer TM GPS Watch