1. Race for Life
  2. About our events
  3. About our Marathon events
  4. Marathon FAQs

Marathon FAQs

Marathon and Half Marathon FAQs 2017

Race for Life Half Marathon

Please note, unless specified ‘Race for Life Marathon’ applies to both the full and half marathon event. 


1. What is the minimum age limit for the Marathon/Half Marathon event?
The minimum age for entering the full marathon is 18 on the day of the event and for the half marathon is 17 on the day of the event. This is in line with UKA Athletics recommendations and is for health and safety reasons and cannot be waivered.

2. I have a medical condition, can I still take part?
Race for Life Marathon involves exercise that your body may not be used to. If you have not exercised for some time, or have an illness or medical condition and are concerned that participating in Race for Life Marathon might be harmful to you, you should check this out with your doctor before taking part.

3. When will I receive my pack?
When you sign up you will receive your welcome pack which includes fundraising tips, your sponsorship form, and your unlimited pass to 5k and 10k events to help with training. Around a month before the event you will receive your event pack. This will contain all of your event information and a running number with a timing chip.

4. Where are training groups being held?
Training days will be held in London in the lead up to the event (dates will be available via social media and in your pack). The training days will be led by an expert trainer who will be able to answer questions including what to wear and what to eat prior to the big day. The day will also include a training run and the chance to meet other ladies taking on the challenge.

5. Will we receive a t-shirt?
You will receive a Race for Life Marathon finishers t-shirt at the end of your event.  These will be available in a range of sizes which you can select when you finish.

6. I can no longer take part, can I give my entry to a friend?
Unfortunately for health and safety reasons it is not permitted to allow someone else to take part in the event under your name. If you have any queries please call our hotline on 0300 123 0770.

Event Day

7. Will there be a place to leave my bags?
Yes there will be a bag drop available in the main event site.

8. Will there be shower and changing facilities?
There will not be showers available but there will be basic communal changing facilities available.

9. Will the marathon medals be different from the Race for Life 5k/10k/Pretty Muddy medals?
Yes, the Race for Life Marathon and Half Marathon medals will be different to the Race for Life 5k/10k/Pretty Muddy medals.

10. I’m taking part in the Lee Valley Full Marathon, can I swap from the full to the half marathon on the day?
Yes, on the day if you decide before or during the event that you wish to finish at the half marathon point that is fine, just follow the half marathon signs.

The course

11. How long does it take to complete the Marathon/Half Marathon course? Is there a cut off?
We will do everything we can to support you throughout your race and want to get you to that finish line but for operational reasons we do have a time limit. For full marathon routes this will be 8 hours. For half marathon routes this will be 5 hours. These time limits would accommodate an entrant that continually walks the course however we don’t recommend walking the entire course and expect all entrants to be able to jog for at least significant portions of the route. Anyone who is unable to complete the course within this time will be supported by our event staff to return safely to the main event site.

12. Will this be an accurately measured marathon course?
Both the full and half marathon courses will be measured and declared as accurate by the Associate of UK Course Measurers as far is possible for a multi terrain course. As this is a multi-terrain course this event is not valid to be used as evidence for proof of time for entry into any other event.

13. Will both the full and half marathon start at the same time?
Event start times will be sent out closer to the event but will be no earlier than those stated as the provisional start time on the website.

14. How does the race start work?
At the start line you will be organised into a starting order roughly based on your estimated finish time. But there’s no need to worry, we’ll be giving you lots of info before the event and on the day to help you decide where to start.

15. Will there be first aid points on the course?
Yes, there will be a static first aid point at the start/finish and also at regular intervals along the route. There will also be mobile first aiders patrolling the course.

16. Will there be toilets on the course?
Yes, there will be toilets available at the start/finish and regularly on the course.

17. Where are the hydration stations?
There will be water and energy drinks available approximately every 3 miles around the course. You will also receive a bottle of water when you finish. Water will be available for purchase before the event.

18. Will there be snacks on the course?
There will be snack available approximately every 3 miles around the course.Snacks will be things like malt loaf, jelly babies and energy bars.

19. Will there be gels on the course?
There will be gels at the hydration stations on the course.You should only use gels if you have practiced with them in advance and remember, sip them slowly over the course of around 5 minutes, don’t take them all at once.

20. Will the event be chip timed, how does the chip work, and how will I receive my results?
Yes the event will be chip timed. For the full and half marathon event you will receive your chip already attached to the back of your running number – you do not need to do anything. The chip looks like a foam pad – do not tamper with or remove the foam pad as this will prevent your chip from working. The chip will record you as you cross the start and finish as well as at various points on the course when you run over a timing mat. You do not need to do anything, you just follow the course and this will happen automatically. You will be able to search for your finish time online after the event (more details will follow) and if you provided us with a mobile phone number you will also receive a text message after you finish with your time. For the relay event you will also be chip timed, how this works will be confirmed nearer the time.

21. What does the timing chip look like and where can I find it?
For the Full and Half Marathon the timing chip is a foam rectangle on the back of your running number. You won’t be able to see the actual ‘chip’ but rest assured it’s there! You do not need to do anything to activate it, just attach your number to your t-shirt on the day and the chip will do its job.  For the Relay event you will also be chip timed, how this works will be confirmed nearer the time.

22. What do I do if my chip is missing or becomes damaged? It is highly unlikely that your running number is missing the timing chip. However if for any reason you believe your chip is missing or has been damaged and won’t work, please come to the Enquiries Marquee on event day and they will be able to provide you with a new running number and chip.

23. Can I take part using a wheelchair or handbike?
Unfortunately due to the nature of the course the Race for Life Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay events are not accessible for wheelchair or handbike users.

24. Can I wear headphones during the event?
We know how important this can be to some participants and are happy for you to wear headphones during the event to allow you listen to iPods, MP3 players or similar music systems. However for health and safety reasons you must still be able to hear and be aware of what is happening around you. This is important in order to allow our medical providers and their vehicles to operate safely on the day as well as for you to hear any instructions from marshals. As such we ask that you keep music to a level that allows this and that you actively listen to any marshal, steward or medical providers on the course.

25. What are pace setters and will there be pace setters at Race for Life Marathon?
Pace setters are support runners who aim to finish the event within a specific time. This allows runners to use them as a guide if they wish to finish within a similar time. The pace setters at Race for Life Marathon will wear special t-shirts and hold signs to help you find them when lining up for the event if you would like to run near one.

26. Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not permitted to take part in the event. Dogs are welcome in the park with spectators.

Spectators and Run With Loved Ones

27. How does the Run With Loved Ones part of the event work?
You will be sent two Run With Loved Ones running numbers in your pack with your team name on. These can be given to any two of your friends or family who are coming on the day and should be worn by them as they join you to run a small section. Your nominated runners will need to make their way to the Run With Loved Ones starting point (this will be marked on the spectator map) about 20 minutes before they expect you to arrive there. They will be greeted by volunteers managing the area who will support your nominated runners in watching for you to arrive. They will then be able to join you, on the course to run a short stretch (less than a mile). Please note that the Run With Loved Ones stretch of course is part of the measured main marathon route so everyone will run this section whether you have people joining you or not.

28. Is there an age restriction on who can run with me?
There is no age restriction however if your nominated supporter is under the age of 13 we ask that you ensure they are accompanied by someone aged over 18 when attending the event who can escort them to and from the ‘Run With Loved Ones’ area.

29. Can I nominate a man to run with me on this section?

30. How will they know when I'll get to this section?
You should let your supporter know before the event day how long you think it will take you to reach the Run With Loved Ones meeting point (marked on the participant and spectator map). Your loved ones should make their way to the about 20 minutes before they expect you to arrive there and we will then help them spot you as you arrive so they can join you. They will also be able to track you online via your timing chip which will give them an idea of when to expect you.

31. How can friends and family track a participant?
We will be using chip timings on the day and spectators will be able to track runners using this. More details will be revealed pre-event and will be available on the day.

Runner Wellbeing

32. How can I look after my feet during training?
The best way to look after your feet during training and on event day is to make sure you wear a quality pair of well fitting trainers. These needn’t be expensive but should be designed for running and fit you well. Most sports shops offer assistance and advice in getting the right pair for you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! As well as your feet you need to protect your toenails (who said marathon running isn’t glamorous?) as these take the bulk of the impact while you run. To prevent them turning black (and in some cases falling off altogether) you should make sure you have well fitted shoes and you lace them up securely (to prevent your feet slipping about too much) but not uncomfortably tightly. Finally you should keep your toenails trimmed short and cut straight across to help reduce pressure and spread it evenly.

33. I’ve heard a lot about chaffing, what can I do to avoid it?
Chaffing is a common issue when running long distances but you can help to reduce it. Apply Vaseline to areas where skin is likely to rub against skin or seams in clothes. Chaffing can happen anywhere so don’t forget those harder to reach places like your bum, inner thighs and inside your sports bra.

34. Speaking of sports bras, do I really need one?
We highly recommend that you invest in a good quality sports bra. Much like your trainers, this doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be designed for running and fit properly. Most sports shops and departments stores stock sports bras and shop assistants are happy to provide advice. Many big stores will also offer a fitting service including specialist advice if you’ve had a mastectomy so don’t be afraid to ask for help. For more information on running after a mastectomy talk to your nurse, doctor or visit the Cancer Research UK website.

35. How do I train for my full or half marathon?
Information will be available in your pack and online. Please see the 'Training' section for more details.

Marathon Relay

36. How will the Relay start work?
The first runner in your relay team will start along with the full marathon participants.  The rest of the team will need to remain in the main event site to prepare for their return.  The second runner will need to be in the start pen ready for the first runners return to handover 10 minutes before you expect them to arrive.  The first runner will then return to the start pen, handover to the second runner before making their way through the finish and so on for the third and fourth runner.

37. How will the Relay finish work?
Once each runner has handed over to the next team member at the start pen they will then make their way through the finish funnels (these are next to the start) where they will receive their finish goodies including their medal. 

38. What is the Relay route like?
The Relay route is a 6.55 mile loop which starts in the main event site, takes in a stretch of the main marathon route before cutting it short and ending back in the main event site where the handovers and finish will take place.  Each runner will complete this same 6.55 mile loop starting and finishing in the same place.

39. How will the handover work?
There will be a pen near the start/finish line especially for Relay participants.  Once the first runner has started we will ask each next runner to be in this pen 10 minutes before they expect their runner to return so they can handover.  As your finishing runner approaches you, you will leave the pen onto the course and handover at the start/finish line.  The second runner will then continue ahead to complete their section while the first runner will make their way through the finish.  There will be plenty of volunteers on hand to help you with this on the day.