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VM London Marathon 2018

Over the last few years, I’ve written for Run247 about the odds of finishing the London Marathon (see here). And as you can see, they are still great odds. The updated stats below (see tables at the bottom of the article)  show that even in the hottest fours years of the event (1996, 2007, 2011 and 2018) the finish rate didn’t dip below 98%. These are great odds and mean that you have a GREAT chance of finishing.

VM London Marathon 2018
Even when it’s a hot one your odds of finishing are GREAT!

So how can you avoid being part of the (just under) 2% who get to the start line but don’t make it to The Mall? Here are my nine top tips:

  1. Train well. Ah – just realised we are a week away from the event. If you haven’t trained properly (or haven’t trained at all) you may want to consider deferring until 2020 (assuming you can do so – if you deferred from 2018 you can’t do it again)
  2. Don’t get sick in the days leading up to the race (more advice on this here). You obviously can’t guarantee this but improve your odds. Wash your hands regularly, stay away from anyone who is unwell, eat healthily and get as much sleep as your life allows
  3. Plan the few days and the last few hours leading up to the race. Do you know where you need to be, what you need to do and what you need to think about? Write a list now and tick it off
  4. READ THE RACE INSTRUCTIONS. I make no apology for using capital letters. At most events that I do, in chatting to people, at least one person admits they haven’t read the race instructions. Putting it bluntly – that’s stupid. With an event the size of the London Marathon you REALLY need to know what you are doing. Go to the website and read them now. Then read them again a couple of days before the race. Make sure you add the relevant information to your list in point 3
  5. Check your kit in advance (an hour before you have to leave for the race isn’t in advance)
  6. What are you going to eat in the 24 hours before the race? Where will you eat? When? This week is not the time to try a new diet…… Make a plan.
  7. How are you going to get to the race? Make a plan then build in extra time. The weather is looking fine at the moment so if you end up having a sit down for 30 minutes before the start, all the better. If you are coming by train, allow 30 minutes from the moment the train arrives to getting into your start area. Then allow 15/20 minutes per toilet visit (it may well be quicker) and allow time to hand in your bag. I recommend getting there in enough time to relax and enjoy the buzz.
  8. Make a plan for the race. Chances are you will go slower than your plan but less chance you will go quicker. Busting yourself for the first 10k will come back and bite you in the last 10k. When I raced as a pacer in 2012 we did the first and second half in 2.24.56 / 2.24.23 – with that steady pacing the results stats showed in the last 7k of the event we passed 1400 runners and only 22 passed us. Aim to get to half way and feel like you could have been quicker
  9. When it gets really tough (and it probably will) think about your months of training; think about the friends and family who not only came to watch the race but supported you in training; think about the hundreds of thousands of spectators who lined the route encouraging you and 40,000 others along; think about the people who can’t run 100 metres through illness or physical limitations – bet they’d love to be doing it; if you are raising money for charity think about how collecting that money will feel even better on Monday 29th April; think about the one person that you will encourage to be a little more active after this; and think about how proud you should be of yourself.

Enjoy every moment. I know I will.

London Marathon Temperatures 1981 to 2018

YearTemp degC 0900Temp degC 1000Temp degC 1100Temp degC 1200
22 April 201819.820.921.923.0
22 April 200716.318.620.521.7
21 April 199617.620.320.121
17 April 201114.115.918.319.9
20 April 19868.110.215.617
13 April 20039.511.51516.4
17 May 198810.613.214.616.4
26 April 200914.114.916.116.2
25 April 201011.813.814.415.6
2 April 19958.39.61214.1
9 May 198210.511.113.414
23 April 201711.712.613.613.9
18 April 199311.812.213.113.8
12 April 199211.312.113.213.8
13 April 201410.511.312.713.7
22 April 20128.810.412.513.4
13 April 19979.911.21213.3
13 May 19848.610.412.213
21 April 201378.910.412.8
23 April 200611.111.312.112.7
26 April 199811.111.21312.7
10 May 19871010.61212.4
17 April 20057.79.410.912.3
16 April 20006.68.79.911.3
18 April 20049.610.210.311.2
14 April 20027.69.210.611.2
29 March 198110.110.210.210.9
22 April 19909.41010.210.9
22 April 20017.68.48.610.4
23 April 19898.48.58.710.1
17 April 198310.11010.410
13 April 200810.412.18.99.5
21 April 19915.87.19.49.1
26 April 20158889
24 April 20166.87.489
21 April 198566.988.6
18 April 19995.96.87.68.4
17 April 19945.96.67.57.6

London Marathon Applicants, Successful applicants, Starters and Finishers 1981 to 2019

YearTotal applicantsSuccessful applicantsStartersFinishersWheelchair finishersIPC World Cup finishersTotal finishers incl WC & IPC% finishers
29 March 198120,0007,7477,0556,255006,25588.66%
9 May 198290,00018,05916,35015,1160015,11692.45%
17 April 198360,00019,73516,50015,77617015,79395.72%
13 May 198470,00021,14216,99215,64926015,67592.25%
21 April 198583,00022,27417,50015,84132015,87390.70%
20 April 198680,00025,56619,26118,03037018,06793.80%
10 May 198780,00028,36421,48519,54541019,58691.16%
17 May 198873,00029,97922,46920,88943020,93293.16%
23 April 198972,00031,77224,45222,65249022,70192.84%
22 April 199073,00034,88226,50024,95360025,01394.39%
21 April 199179,00033,48524,50023,39342023,43595.65%
12 April 199283,00034,25024,50023,78350023,83397.28%
18 April 199368,00035,82025,00024,44847024,49597.98%
17 April 199472,00037,37926,00025,19448025,24297.08%
2 April 199579,00039,09727,00025,32651025,37793.99%
21 April 199668,00039,17327,13426,76145026,80698.79%
13 April 199778,00039,81329,50029,13554029,18998.95%
26 April 199896,00042,22830,66329,92448029,97297.75%
18 April 199987,00043,77431,58230,80940030,84997.68%
16 April 200093,00042,59632,62031,65840031,69897.17%
22 April 200192,00043,51731,15630,28632030,31897.31%
14 April 200299,00046,08333,29732,90644032,95098.96%
13 April 2003111,00045,62932,74632,28143032,32498.71%
18 April 2004108,00045,21932,74631,98329032,01297.76%
17 April 2005132,00047,96935,55735,26040035,30099.28%
23 April 2006119,00047,02033,57833,22426033,25099.02%
22 April 2007128,00050,03936,39635,69831035,72998.17%
13 April 2008120,00048,63035,03734,60235034,63798.86%
26 April 2009155,00049,99535,88435,36638035,40498.66%
25 April 2010163,00051,37836,95636,63234036,66699.22%
17 April 2011163,92650,53235,30334,83636034,87298.78%
22 April 2012170,15050,20037,22736,77438036,81298.89%
21 April 2013167,44948,32334,63134,311462434,38199.28%
13 April 2014169,68249,87236,33735,911412535,97799.01%
26 April 2015172,88851,69638,02037,641539937,79399.40%
24 April 2016247,06953,15239,52339,091613239,14099.03%
23 April 2017253,93053,22940,04839,487633239,48798.60%
22 April 2018386,05054,68541,00340,273573540,27398.22%
28 April 2019414,16856,398429064246652314254999.17%

London Marathon Finishers Percentile 2009 to 2019

 10th percentile25th percentile50th percentile75th percentile90th percentile
26 April 200903:26:0903:54:2004:28:2805:04:5305:43:45
25 April 201003:25:4303:53:5404:27:5405:05:4805:46:21
17 April 201103:26:4203:57:2404:34:0205:14:0005:54:31
22 April 201203:24:2003:53:3904:28:5305:09:0005:49:56
21 April 201303:20:5303:50:3804:27:2905:07:2105:49:54
13 April 201403:20:3403:49:5004:25:4405:06:5805:48:42
26 April 201503:15:3003:44:4804:19:0704:57:3305:39:31
24 April 201603:14:4203:45:0704:20:5505:01:4105:46:06
23 April 201703:15:4703:47:2104:26:5705:09:2505:54:16
22 April 201803:28:0504:02:0604:47:5605:34:2006:17:03
28 April 201903.16.3503.46.3704.25.0005.08.4405.53.06