The Run Reigate Guide to Surviving the London Marathon!

You’ve trained for months, you’ve planned your route, worn in your new trainers, picked out your most comfortable kit and finally the big race day is here.  Many of our wonderful Run Reigate runners will join with 36,000 others next Sunday, to take part in one of the world’s biggest and most famous distance races, the London Marathon.   Our local British Military Fitness crew have entered a massive team, running to raise money for The Children’s Trust, one of our own charities and we wish them all the best of luck.

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For any first time marathon runner, it can be daunting, and we’re not talking covering the 26.2 miles.  It’s more than just physical endurance: the marathon is a logistical, biological and psychological obstacle course. For those of you getting ready to race, the Run Reigate team have come up with a few alternative tips to help you on your way…

Get greased up

Lather yourself in vaseline before you start (including your feet), even in places that are unlikely to chafe – trust us it really helps! Turn yourself into a big slippery sea-lion.  Added benefits include sliding your way to the front of your pen.  If you suffer from hayfever, rub a big dollop on your nose as prevents the pollen from getting in.  

Go before you go

There are loads of portaloos.  Hundreds in fact, but they will still have a long queue in the hour before the race.  It is OK to stand in line, get to the front, do your business, then return to the end of the queue and repeat … 3 times.  You’ll be thankful for this cleanse when you see everyone veering off to the side as soon as they’ve crossed the start line to wee in public.  

On your marks, get ready … hang around a bit!

And you’re off … or not as the case will probably be.  Unless you are an elite runner, the start can be a bit of an anti-climax as you often have to wait 5-10 minutes to get across the start line and the pace can be a little slow.  Distract yourself by loudly humming “Eye of the Tiger”.

Resist the Rhino

There will be an urge to sprint past everyone in fancy dress.  Their attire can be deceptive.  The guy dressed as a giant penguin is actually an Olympic Triathlete and he’ll mess with your head by speeding up as you attempt to overtake him.  It may be a blow to your confidence to find a foam fire hydrant ahead of you at mile 18, but it makes for a good anecdote later.  Much later.

People power-ups

The closest many of us will ever come to feeling like we’re in the Olympics, is crossing Tower Bridge.  The volume builds as you run down Tooley Street, with an explosion of noise as you turn on to the bridge, people clapping, banging tubes and shouting your name.  If you have an unusual name, they might shout something else, but don’t heckle them.  It’s OK to wave at people and high five the kids.  Spectators – bring hand sanitiser.

Mind your step

Everyone who has run a marathon will tell you to watch out for the drinks bottles on the ground.  But seriously, do, and it starts early.  One of our team slipped on a discarded bottle at mile 16 of the New York Marathon, horribly tearing her hamstring.  Being the tough nut she is, she walked the remainder in agony, doggedly determined to earn that bloomin’ medal!  The gel packets are just as bad and slimey.  They sometimes stick to your trainer, forcing you to remove it whilst hopping ungainly, racers behind accidentally grabbing you in a hug as they crash into you.  

Where’s Wally?

It’s definitely worthwhile knowing where your supporters are going to be so that you can pick them out, quite literally, in a crowd.  Banners, signs, fancy hats, unusual cheers or just really really loud voices are useful.  Especially in the final stretch, when you’ve forgotten your own name.

Salty beards

Some marathon runners sport an attractive salt beard when they finish the race, which always looks good in the photos and can be a surprise to their partners.  Shows you’ve really worked hard!  Replace the electrolytes through gels and energy drinks during the race, and fish and chips afterwards.

You’ve made it!

Once you’ve crossed the line it really is straightforward.  Be gently pushed by the race marshals  towards your photo and bag and start crying with joy.  Have cosy clothes to put on even if it’s not cold, as you will be soon.  Have snacks in your bag too, not just with your family or friends as they might have eaten them.  Really, there should be a big conveyor belt at the end just like the airport, where you are collected by someone, preferably with a wheelchair and a bottle of prosecco in the arm rest cup holder.

Think Dalek

Avoid steps, at all costs.  If you must use them in the days pending the race, try sliding down like a toddler, as long as you have something or someone to pull you up at the end.  Ice baths are also recommended, but may result in weird noises coming from your mouth without your control.

Enjoy it!  

You’ve earned it.  Yes, it will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but also one of the best.  The atmosphere and crowds are amazing and there is such a variety of people running that you’ll be continually inspired.   You might even be on the TV, so remember to smile, practise your crowd wave and of course, wear your Run Reigate finishers t-shirt for all to see.

Run Reigate Half Marathon 10k 5k Races

Latest Event Update

It is with a heavy heart that due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we are announcing that it will not be possible for Run Series to deliver any of our physical events this year – this includes Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate.

Although not altogether unexpected, this is disappointing for everyone involved. However, our priority, regardless of this pandemic, has always always been for the safety and wellbeing of you the runners as well as our volunteers, partners, charities, staff, supporters and the wider community without any of whom our events would just not be possible. Given that there remains vast uncertainty on how to best safely move forwards we do not feel it would be practically possible, or socially responsible, for us to stage these events this year and deliver a safe, fun and enjoyable experience for all.

This decision has been made in consultation with all local authorities who right now are also unable to guarantee availability of event venues. So what happens now? ​All runners and riders currently registered for our 2020 events will be​ automatically transferred to our 2021 events​ and so there is no action for you to take at this stage. We are working with the local authorities and event venues to finalise the 2021 dates and we will announce these very soon. For further details on transfers and deferrals etc, please take a look at our Q&As. We value your opinion.​ We have been thinking about some exciting things we could potentially do for our runners and cyclists in the coming months until we can once again safely host our large scale events. We’d love your input to make sure we’re on the right track so please complete our short survey below. To say thank you for taking part, you’ll be in with a chance to win one of 3 fantastic top-to-toe On Running kits worth over approx. £300​! We very much look forward to when we can all race again and come together with confidence and lighter hearts doing what we do best – Running as One. Until then we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you for your continued support throughout this time, your ongoing understanding is greatly appreciated.

David Kelly, Race Director on behalf of the whole Run Series Team.

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POSTPONEMENT Q&A's

We appreciate there will be lots of questions and we have tried to pre-empt those with a detailed Q&A’s which you can find here

In the unlikely situation that you cannot find the answer to your query, please email us at info@runseries.co.uk​. Due to a reduced working team we will do our very best to respond to your query within 5 working days.

Why did you decide to postpone the 2020 races to 2021?

We considered many alternative approaches to try and safely deliver Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate with appropriate social distancing measures. However, after careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to postpone all mass participation events to 2021. Our decision was rooted in the best interests for the health and wellbeing of runners, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and all those involved in making the running of these events possible. In addition the continued uncertainty over government guidelines for events significantly reduces the window of time needed to plan and deliver safely our full event experience.

Will my registered place for my event still hold for 2021?

Yes, your entry for your 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 race and will be automatically transferred over to the new date (date still TBC), you do not need to do anything else, we will contact you nearer to the event with all the usual information.

Is there a refund option available for these events?

Organising our event requires a considerable amount of forward planning and expense – and entry fees are used to support these costs, many of which are incurred long before event day. Your entry fees doesn’t only cover on the day costs like road closures, barriers, medals, t-shirts, Policing, medical provision, etc – they also help to cover the up front planning costs which include staff wages, risk assessments, safety measures, consultation with local businesses, supplier fees and licences – to name but a few. For these reasons the Run Series refund policy for all of our events has always been the same, we do not and cannot offer refunds. This is made clear in our ​terms and conditions​ ​– which all runners agree to upon registration.

What if I can’t make the new event date?

As soon as we are able to, we will announce our 2021 dates. If you are unable to make the new date, you will be able to defer your place to the following year, transfer to another of our events or transfer your place to another participant. All of these options will be free of charge.

What happens if my place was allocated by a charity partner?

As your charity place belongs to your charity, any decision about your place must be made by them. Details regarding the potential reallocation of charity places should be discussed with the relevant charity partner directly.

What will happen to the Run Gatwick England Athletics National Championships and Sussex Athletics Championships?

The 2021 Run Gatwick event will retain Championship status for both Sussex Athletics and England Athletics and all elite places will automatically have their entry deferred to the new 2021 event as detailed by Run Series in the coming weeks.

Will there be a virtual event instead?

We are currently exploring options and invite you to complete our survey and have your say. We will take on board your comments and make an announcement regarding this as soon as possible.

When announced, are the 2021 event dates guaranteed?

As much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty around rescheduled event dates as there are just too many factors out of our control. In a world that is changing so rapidly on a daily basis, the future is far from certain but we will do our best to honour our commitment to you and deliver a fantastic event experience in line with the government regulations in place at the time.

What happens with my iTAB/PacePocket order?

Your iTab/Pace Pocket order will be carried over to your 2021 event entry.