Virgin Money London Marathon

Virgin Money London Marathon

Virgin Money London Marathon

( 20 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • London,
    United Kingdom
  • April
  • 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Javier Mere

Chicago, Illinois, United States
9 6
"2015 London Marathon"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Javier Mere's thoughts:

As one of the Six Major World Marathons, I had a sense of what to expect of the race (having ran other world majors). This pretty much means: a very large number of runners, fans along the entire course, big expo…everything you think of a regular race but times 10…and I was not disappointed in that feeling.

The atmosphere leading to race day, the expo, and the race itself met those expectations. As for the swag, can’t complain either. The medal looks great, the after race bag is loaded with goods including all sort of sweets, water, electrolyte drinks, chocolate and even a deodorant spray! The race finisher tech shirt is one that I would wear again (not like from other races). I found the expo was well organized, similar to other world majors expos. What was different from other expos is that it had a stage area with a decent size sitting area which was plus to rest your legs before the big day! One thing to keep in mind, is that the ExCel Center (location of the expo) is about an 1hr subway ride from the city.

Race Day
Bibs numbers are either red, blue or green so as you make your way to the start, there are large open areas for each color, each with plenty of space for coffee/tea, baggage check in and porta potties and sex specific urinals – your heard that right! They have female only standing urinals! I obviously don’t know the details but they were pretty popular given the long queues! Both the porta potties and urinals were both nicer than what I’ve seen in the US. Porta potties came with a flush handle! I felt like nothing was missing from my typical pre-race ritual. Getting inside the corrals was pretty easy and can be done probably up to 5 minutes before the start of the race – which is 10am. I encounter no troubles in that aspect. If you think of Boston or NY where the actual start is a good 5-10 min walk away from the runner’s area, this wasn’t the case in London.

The Course

Really nothing bad to say about it. Mostly flat; a nice 1 mile downhill from mile 2 to 3; a few uphills –nothing steep or long around miles 17 – 20 (if I remember correctly); other than that it’s flat!
Crowds are amazing! They were loud and everywhere throughout the course. Same goes for the other runners. With more than 37,000 runners you are not going to feel like you are running alone!

"Hard" to get in. If you're a non-UK resident (not non-EU) it's almost impossible to gain entry through the lottery. They only accept about 3,000 non UK runners from over 50,000+ who enter the lottery. I tried 3 years with no success.

The alternative: a tour operator. It's really your only chance of getting in. This was my first time running a race through a tour and I can't complain. The entire deal was very well organized. I never felt I had questions regarding travel, stay, logistics, etc. Every possible question to, I had an answer before asking. For runners interested and living in the US the one and only option is Marathour Tours. Check their website for packages and timing. If you're thinking of running you need to plan almost a year in advance and commit to it by reserving your spot with a down payment. But I guarantee you won't regret it! It's not like us marathoners don't plan things way in advance :)

My advice, save some money and fly over the pond, I guarantee you will love it!

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