VLM “Meet the Expert” 29th January 2011.
Here are the notes I took regarding the actual race day.
The colour of your race number tells you which start you need to get to (green, blue or red). Make sure you go to the right tube/DLR stop for your colour and allow 15/20 minutes to walk there.
Trains and tubes are free for runners, but it will be very busy.
Only runners can come to the start so say goodbye to your loved ones earlier – there’s no point them walking you to the starting area.
The race starts at 9:45am.
You’ll need to wear a bin liner to keep warm before the start.
You pick up your kit bag from the Expo the week before. At the starting area this is where you need to put anything you want at the end of the race; my choice will be warm clothes and sandwiches! These bags are put in number order and taken to the finish line to meet you.
Water – after 3 miles on every mile. Bottle are 33cl so easy to carry and have a sports top so they are easy to drink. Please don’t pour it over yourself, there are run-through showers just off the main course should you need a brief cool down.
Lucozade sports drinks – every five miles from mile 5 to 23.
Lucozade carbo gels – miles 14 and 21.
There are lots and lots and lots at the starting areas – take your own toilet roll though. There are also portaloos en route and these are well signposted and only slightly off the route.
Keep to your pace, people who start even slightly faster than their marathon pace struggle. Keep to YOUR pace and you’ll do fine. There are pace teams if you want to meet one at the start (see Runnersworld.co.uk for details).
Think about your finish photo and who is in it!
Once you finish you go through a secure finish area where your chip will be taken off and you can reclaim your kit bag.
Avoid all the popular spots; Greenwich, Tower, Embankment and the last mile. These places are very crowded. A good spot is along Surrey Quays or where your charity are set up.
The trains will be very busy – it will be like rush hour.
The official meeting place at the end is Horseguards and these are alphabetically ordered (XYZ is a good place to meet). It can take 40 minutes to get through the finish area so plan this in with the people you are meeting.