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Get started

The details shown on this page are based on how the organization was the year before.
If you know of any changes please send a mail to keep your fellow runners up to date. - thank you

By ordinary mail

... at the beginning of april you will receive the registration form, which enables you to get your number and all the other accessories. These will be handed out at the exhibition, which is at the Excel Exhibition Centre, Victoria Docks.

On the registration form you will be informed which of the start groups (blue, red, green) is yours and what your number will be. YOU MUST REGISTER AND COLLECT YOUR NUMBER BEFORE RACE DAY.

The Excel Exhibition Centre at Victoria Docks

... where the numbers are handed out will be open the week before the race

Wednesday, 11am-9pm
Thursday, 10am-8pm
Friday, 10am-8pm
Saturday, 9am-5pm.

The Excel Exhibition Centre is most easily reached by the Dockland Railway (DLR), an Underground line which goes high above the roads in the Dockland area. The DLR is very well suited to use as a sightseeing tour through the Docklands, and during the journey you will see a good part of the marathon route, which goes all around the Isle of Dogs.

DLR station for the exhibition is Custom House. You will have to take the train for Beckton.
official exhibition website

Collecting your Number

You must exchange your registration form (you received it at beginning of april) for your number and your kitbag. 

You will be asked to sign the declaration on your registration form in front of the Registration clerk. You may be asked for personal identification. With your number and kitbag you will also be given a set of final instructions. 

While preferring you to register in person, organisers recognise that in some cases this may be impossible. You can nominate someone to collect your number for you. The person you nominate must have the following: a letter written and signed by you, authorising that person - by name - to collect your number.

There are special desks for Overseas runners at registration. They will be clearly marked. 
And there might be made a special arrangement for your coach party. Please ask your guide. 
On your number you will find your starting pen (zone number 1-9). Both the blue and red start have nine pens.

The kitbag

... will be given to you with your number. Together with it you get an adhesive numbered sticker. This sticker must be fixed to the front of your kitbag. Do not leave the exhibition without collecting this kitbag - you will need it for your belongings on race day. The plastic bag is waterproofed and reusable.
In your start area you will find lorries to hand over your kitbag. In the finish area you will find the baggage vehicles when proceeding on. You must show your running number to reclaim your kitbag. Having collected your kitbag please move away from the vehicles to change your cloths.

The Timing Chip

... will be given to you with your number. The London Marathon Chip is a special system (Ipico). It is not possible to use your own championchip.

To make sure the chip works it will be handed out and tested on the exhibition.

Injured, ill, holiday cancelled?

As you might have reckoned you don't get any money back if you don't run. It's not allowed to transfer your number to someone else.

If you withdraw and use the following procedures the London Marathon will guarantee you an entry for next year's race. - subject to paying another entry fee. This is what you must do:
Return your registration form to this address:
Withdrawals, Virgin London Marathon, 
PO Box 3460, London SE1 8YN
latest postmark = day before raceday
If you become ill or injured after you have collected your running number, return it to the Trouble Desk in Registration at the Excel Expo before 4pm on saturday or post it to the address above, latest postmark = raceday.

How to get to the start

Travelling to the start is not by Tube but by train which you can use free of charge as long as you have a running number. The conditions allow to enter the train either at Charing Cross, Waterloo East or London Bridge. I suggest to enter at Charing Cross, the train will be crowded arriving at the further stations or even full. However, some trains start at London Bridge. Trains go from around 7am to 9.15am. Timetable will be provided with final instructions.

Your running number is valid as your train ticket just on raceday and only on the shown route from the mentioned stations to enter to the following stations to leave.

Blue Start: go to Blackheath 
Red Start: go to either Greenwich or Maze Hill
Green Start: go to Blackheath

Since the Dockland Railway line has been extended to Greenwich Station it also can be used for transport to the red start. Your race number also works as DLR and Tube ticket on race day.

The walk to the blue or green start will take around 15min, to the red start 20min. 

Race Start Times

08.55 am Wheelchairs Men and Women (Blue start only)

09.00 am International Paralympic World Cup Race (Blue start only)

09.15 am  Elite women  (Blue start only)

10.00 am  Elite men as well as the UK Championship (Blue start) and the mass start together (Blue, Red and Green starts)

Assembly area

There are fenced areas (separate for blue, red and green starts) open just for participants.
Here you find information desks, drink stations, countless toilet cabins and the baggage vehicles.
On your running number you will see a small zone number (1-9) which marks the starting pen where you are asked to line in (on the basis of your predicted race time). 

The pens are as follows:
1: < 3:00
2: < 3:15
3: < 3:30
4: < 3:45
5: < 4:00
6: < 4:15 
7: < 4:30
8: < 4:45 
9: just to finish

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Following page:  On the Route




before entering blue assembly area
(photo: Angelika Scheil)