London marathon BlackfriarsFlora London Marathon

Address: 10 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST, United Kingdom

Date: April 13, 2008
Hours: 6:30am
Tickets: Free

WWW: http://www.london-marathon.co.uk/
Phone: +44 20 79020200

About the Flora London Marathon

Olympic Champion Chris Brasher’s vision of a marathon in London where all people “black, white and yellow” come together to “laugh, cheer and suffer” for the name of charity. His dream became a reality on March 29, 1981 as the Flora London Marathon (FLM) and has been going strong ever since.

Today the London Marathon attracts nearly 100,000 entrees and accepts about half. Although the marathon is a great challenge and a prideful thing for those that enter, it is also extremely enthusiastic about providing for charities the world over. Runners are encouraged to fundraise for a charity of their choice. Many charity organizers even set up entrants to raise money for their own cause. The FLM organization itself also picks official charities to contribute too, with 2008’s chosen charities being H-E-A-R-T UK and the Spinal Injuries Association.

In the days leading up to the race, there is also a Marathon Expo which is held annually at London’s Docklands. The Expo is free of charge, open for four full days and attracts nearly 70,000 visitors. Participants can register, pick up their chip and number or get the latest in race gear. Visitors can meet motivational sports stars, shop Adidas’ Superstore for souvenir items, join the runners at the Pasta Party and watch presentations and entertainment on the Adidas stage. This year the Expo is open on Wednesday from 11:00am – 8:00pm; Thursday and Friday from 10:00am – 8:00pm and Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm. Spectators are also encouraged to seek out the Pubs and Course Entertainment that has been planned out for them along the marathon route.

Anyone looking to participate should look at all that is available to them. There is the feel good aspect of knowing you are running for a cause as well as your own health. The FLM also provides interactive training guides and a FLM 2008 Personal Trainer so that all contestants are ready and able to cross that finish line.  There is also a FLM Injury Clinic that is there for those with injury and those who simply want advice on how to avoid injury during the race.

Running the FLM is also a great way to see London. Beginning at Blackheath and ending at the Mall, the rest of the 26.2 miles is filled with infamous London landmarks like Cutty Sark, London Eye, Tower of London, Parliament, Cleopatra’s Needle, Tate Modern, the Thames, National Maritime Museum, Canary Wharf, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Bridge and HMS Belfast.

In order to take part, contestants can fill out entry forms online, by way of the postal service or by fax as their first step. Overseas entries are also more than welcome and must fill out a special online form or call the FLM telephone to register. Registration is fee but all are absolutely encouraged to run for a charity of their choice or for one of FLM’s official charities.

Getting to Flora London Marathon

The starting line’s tube is in Zone 3 in Blackheath Village. For further information, the Transport for London government website provides useful tips on how to get to any site along the FLM path. FLM participants and spectators can buy the recommended 1 to 3 day tickets package that will endure the length of their stay for the race.

Flora London Marathon Hotels

Here is a short guide to Flora London Marathon hotel accommodation.

All of London’s Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts are offering two packages that align with the FLM.

Option A is a premium package that includes a nutritional pre-race breakfast, coach transfer, complementary physio and a soothing post race massage. This package requires a minimum two nights’ stay and is available at Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Holiday Inn Kings Cross/Bloomsbury, Holiday Inn Mayfair and Holiday Inn Regents Park. Prices ranges from 120 – 165EUR depending upon the location.

Option B also requires a minimum two nights’ stay and provides a nutritional pre-race breakfast and coach transfer. These are available at Holiday Inn Bexley, Holiday Inn Brent Cross, Chessington, Heathrow Ariel, Holiday Inn Heathrow M4 J4, Kensington Forum, Oxford Circus, Sutton and Shepperton as well as Crowne Plaza Docklands, Heathrow, The City and Shoreditch. Prices for Option B range from 61 – 165EUR depending on the location.

We had previously stated that City Inn Westminster was offering a marathon package but this is no longer available.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org