The London Marathon is at the top of a lot of runners and non runners bucket lists and with good reason. There really is no other event like it anywhere else, a perfect combination of a madcap festival and a super serious sporting event.
As the big day gets ever closer we thought we'd put together the ultimate guide to everything you need to know about the London Marathon, the Dos and the don'ts.
This year the London Marathon will be on the last Sunday of April (the 28th) and unless you are an Elite Woman or competing in the Para races you will be starting at 10am. There are three different starting pens for runners, based on your predicted finishing time. You'll discover which pen you are in once you have collected your number.
Collecting your race number couldn't really be any more straightforward. All you need to do is pop into the ‘London Marathon Running Show’ between Wednesday and Saturday, entry is free for runners and non runners alike.
To show you are who say you are, you'll need to print out your registration email along with some photo id.
If you're unable to attend the show, you can send a friend to collect your number for you, but it's a little more complicated.
They will need
If, for whatever reason, you need to defer your London Marathon 2020 place, you can do so until 8pm on Saturday 27 April 2020. You can only defer entries that haven’t already been deferred from the 2018 race, or received by a charity or sponsor (in other words, you can only defer if you have a ballot or Good for Age entry).
In order to defer, you’ll need to fill in the withdrawal form on this page of the London Marathon website. Runners who defer will receive a link to register and pay for the London Marathon 2021 by Monday 3 June 2020.
As it stands the route for the course is looking like it will be exactly the same as last year as there have been no announced route changes. While it's good to have a rough idea of the course so you know how far you've gone, don't worry about getting lost, it's well marked and you just need to follow the crowd.
Running London Marathon is exciting and chances are that your friends and family will want to support you whether from the course itself or online. For those coming in person organise a spot for them to stand ahead of time so you don't waste energy looking for them round every corner. If they are supporting from home, all they need to do is download the fully loaded London Marathon App.
This might sound like common sense but it's worth pointing out again, you can't do any of the following -
(Don't be like the woman on the right holding your tshirt up for 26.2 miles...)
The guys at London Marathon are really strict about any number funny business and you could be banned from all further London Marathon events for up to five years. It just ain't worth it folks.
When you first get into your start pen and look around at the hundreds of runners all around you, it can feel like you will never be able to get up to running speed. Despite this sensation it's really important that you don't try and work your way into a 'faster' zone, though you are free to move back to a slower start pen.
Really don't worry about it as your time will only start when your chip crosses the line, regardless of which pen you are in and you'll have plenty of time to make up for a slower start.
We've all been there, desperate for a wee and not a portaloo in sight. However this isn't trail running and it's not acceptable to find a bush just off the course to go behind, instead the guys at LDN Marathon are very insistent you use the portaloos provided.
Talking of ditching liquids on the course, this year the organisers are asking all runners to empty out their water bottles before discarding them. There are two really good reasons for this, the first is that it makes it 1000 times easier to recycle the plastic bottles and the second is that stops other runners tripping over.
That's it folks everything you need to know about London Marathon 2019, if you have any last minute questions we'll be at the Expo and happy to help. Otherwise best of luck and enjoy what is one of the most enjoyable and fun races anywhere in the world.