Who better to offer some top tips on the big race than previous runners, members of the very special ‘Marathon Club’? We asked one such runner, Tom Wright, for advice on taking on the 26 miles.
Tom, a three-time London Marathoner, grew up in Blackheath so felt he was always destined to run London. Losing a friend in his 20s was the motivation he needed to line up in Greenwich Park:
"As a kid I would go every year to watch family friends and always promised one day I would run it myself. I represented Greenwich in the mini-marathon in my teens, and then finally got round to the big one in 2007 when my brother challenged me to a race."
Tom finished and promised he would never run again, let alone take on another marathon. That was until 2009, when he found himself crossing the finish line once more. For a second time he swore off running but was seen lining up at the start in 2014. He swears he’s definitely hung up the running shoes now, but with so much experience, he’s perfectly placed to share with us his three top tips for running London.
Get to know the course
"London has more twists and turns than any other. Even as someone who's lived here for 30 years, it's impossible not to get disorientated at some stage. Knowing what's coming up in the next mile gives you more confidence, calms you down, and means you can increase your pace for the all-important 100 metres where your friends are waiting to see you."
Hydration – little and often
"There are constant reminders but on the day it's easy to forget. The seconds you lose when slowing down at a Woolwich water stop is nothing compared to the minutes lost stumbling down the Embankment at mile 25. Train with a running bottle, stop at a shop, get friends and family to meet you with water on route – whatever works best. If you find yourself feeling thirsty on the day, you're already too late."
"Easier said than done, but darting in and out of people for the first few miles puts a strain on muscles you shouldn't be using, and will come back and bite you later. Don't worry about the crowds early on, they'll thin out quickly. The first half should be holding a steady pace, the second half is for racing."
Tom will be at a Marie Curie cheerpoint next year supporting all our fantastic runners, and we look forward to returning the favour when he comes out of a third retirement in 2017.