London marathon runners countdown

marathon countdown

With just under two weeks to go until the Virgin Money London Marathon, runners will be getting nervous and excited – I know I was this time last year!

However, I did start panicking about getting my number, how I’d get to the right start at the right time etc etc.

So at about this time I started checking through all the info I’d been sent, re-reading the London Marathon emails and planning my train route.

By the time I went to the Expo two days before the run to pick up my race number and pack, I was really happy that I knew how I’d get to the start of my very first marathon.

I couldn’t believe how big the Expo was. I loved going around the stalls, meeting loads of people who were there carrying their race bags around. Some excited and a lot like me, thinking ‘what on earth am I about to do?’

I brought a ton of stuff and picked up some great freebies like the Aftershokz headphones (that I ended up using on my run). I remember being on the Garmin stand as their ambassador to have photos with lots of people. I had used my watch for every training session and was relying on it to be my ‘pacer’ on the Marathon.

I was also asked to speak on the stand in the middle of the Expo, explaining to everyone that having been an international middle distance athlete had not given me a free pass to easy training or running fast in a marathon. It was fun though as a lot of people resonated with my training journey — especially the boredom of long runs and the aches and pains! But all in all we were in this together and were set on getting round the 26.2 miles that lay ahead of us.

So I thought I would give you my Top Tips for this week’s planning. Hope they help you!

Plan your Expo Visit. Decide now which day and time you’ll go to the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Expo to get your running number, timing tag and kit bag. DON’T FORGET your registration form and photo ID which you’ll need.The Expo is free and family and friends can go with you so make the most of it, set aside some time to browse the stands, hear some of the great talks, find out some last minute info, buy some goodies and souvenirs and absorb the sheer buzz of the event alongside so many other people who, like you, will be running the London Marathon.

It’s at ExCel, 1 Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. The best way by far is to go by public transport, find directions here:

Opening hours are:

Wednesday 19 April 11:00–20:00
Thursday 20 April 10:00–20:00
Friday 21 April 10:00–20:00
Saturday 22 April 09:00–17:00

Plan your Race Day train travel to your Start.
 Blue Start or Good For Age runners with running numbers 31351 to 34000 should travel to Blackheath station. Red Start runners should travel to either Greenwich station or Maze Hill station, Green Start runners should travel to Maze Hill station. REMEMBER there are NO TRAINS this year from London Bridge to Greenwich or Maze Hill. For Blackheath/Blue Start travel from Charing Cross, Waterloo East or Victoria stations. For Greenwich/Maze Hill/Red & Green Start use Cannon Street.

Have a great final two weeks preparing for the big day and enjoy the Expo next week!