Thursday 11 April 2013

Marathon Spectator Guide

Emily's Teddy Will Be Running
His First Marathon With Alison! 

In less than two weeks it will all be over. 
There will be medals for all and a big pile of purple-accented people to be picked up and dragged home for a wash. There might even be some champagne but above all I hope there will be pride that we all did something amazing together for our charity and above all for Emily.
This post is a spectator guide for anyone who'd like to come and watch the spectacle that is The London Marathon and who wants to have the best chance of spotting members of TEAM!.

The Start
Spectators are not permitted into the start areas on race day so runners would do best to get themselves to Greenwich without an entourage and for spectators to go straight to the course.
This is TEAM! Kit -
Look For TEAM! Caps

Start Times:
Elite Women 09:00
Wheelchair Men and Women 09:20
Paralympics World Cup 09:22
Mass Start 10:00

The Finish
The finish is also a spectator no-go area and runners will have to proceed through a secure zone to collect their kit bag before heading out to the Runner Meet and Greet in Horseguards Road and Horseguards Parade. If spectators know when their member of TEAM! is due to finish, they could make arrangements to meet them here under their surname letter and help carry their battered bodies to the Diabetes UK Cool Down Party at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (details below) where we'd love all of TEAM! to congregate when they have finished, along with their family, friends and supporters. Since there's a large spread of running times across TEAM! with some aiming to finish in 3-4 hours and some in 5, this will give us a chance to share a congratulatory hug as people finish and enjoy some pampering care of Diabetes UK, before everyone disappears off to put their feet up.

Diabetes UK Cool Down Party:

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Mountbatten Lounge (5th floor), Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, SW1P 3EE, 12PM – 6PM. 
Diabetes UK are providing:

  • Food for runners
  • Massage area for runners
  • Exclusive ‘Thank You’ zone for runners, friends and family to use for picture and video taking (including a fantastic view of the London skyline)
  • Refreshments for friends and family
  • Music of your choice
  • Live BBC Marathon Coverage

The closest Tube is Westminster and to get there from the Runner Meet and Greet in Horseguards is easy - see map below:

The All-Important Bit in The Middle
Using this amazing interactive tool courtesy of the Virgin London Marathon website, you can enter your runner's prospective finishing time (see below) and work out where on the course they will be at a particular time for you to cheer them on (do bear in mind it can take 20 minutes for everyone at the Mass Start to go over the start line so the locations and timings you get could be subject to plus up to 20 minutes) and you can also use it to see where likely quiet or vibrant locations for viewing will be to help plan your day.

Diabetes UK are going to have two special Cheering Points at The Draft House pub by Tower Bridge and Big Ben. Their locations and details are in this linked document
The charity have asked that if anyone would like to join them there then we should give them names and details so please ask a member of TEAM! to do this on your behalf. They will have balloon arches, bang sticks and crazy hair (essential cheering tools) as well as a steel band so these two locations should be a fun place to stand as well as being easily seen by TEAM! as we all sail majestically past (dream on). 

TEAM! Running Numbers and Times to Finish:

Spectator Tips:
  • If you are a TV spectator then anyone with Virgin Media, Sky, Freesat will be able to view the finishing line camera live until 4pm by using the Red Button during BBC coverage - this is also available online
  • Make arrangements with your member of TEAM! before the day and don't rely on mobiles to make contact as due to the numbers of people all doing the same thing this isn't reliable
  • Make sure you know TEAM! runners race numbers (see above) so you can check their whereabouts online and finish details
  • Take a packet of tissues - from personal experience watching the Marathon in 2006 for the first time it can simply be overwhelming the displays of human endeavour and triumph against the odds - blubbing at strangers is normal
  • Related to the point above please expect to desire to take part in 2014 and we wish you all the luck in the world with that!
Fingers and toes crossed for a perfect day, please limber up your cheering muscles and turbo-charge your hugging capabilities as there will be 14 purple people and a bear who'll need some support!

Additional Spectator Resources
Course maps and Virgin London Marathon Magazine Spectator Guide:

The First 6 Miles
Miles 7 to 22
Miles 23 to 26

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