There are three Start Areas at the Virgin Money London Marathon – Red, Blue, and Green – and the colour of your running number indicates your Start Area. Each Start Area has eight zones – numbered 1 to 8 - and you will be informed of your Start Zone when you register at Expo.

The zone you have been allocated to is based on your predicted finish time when you entered. Please note: You cannot change your Start Area or move to an earlier Start Zone. However, if you think your predicted finish time is now too fast, you will be allowed to join a later Start Zone.

New for 2018

After carrying out a detailed analysis of our start procedures for the past two years, we are introducing wave starts across all three starts in 2018. This means there will be short gaps in the start release process to allow the course ahead to clear, thus providing an enhanced experience for all participants.

To make sure the start of your race goes smoothly, you just need to do the following: 

  • Go to your correct Start Area 
  • Drop off the kitbag you have been provided 
  • Join your correct Start Zone
  • Follow the instructions of the marshals

Your Start Area

Where's my Start

  • Blue Start Area - use Blackheath station.
  • Green Start Area - use Maze Hill station. 
  • Red Start Area – use Greenwich or Maze Hill stations

Fast Good for Age competitors

Numbers 30921 to 33380 are Fast Good for Age competitors. You will assemble at the Fast Good for Age area, which is outside the main gates of Greenwich Park. Runners cannot gain access to this area via the Red Start assembly area. Use Blackheath station if you’re arriving by train.

Baggage Drop Lorries

Announcements on the PA systems at each Start Area will tell you when to put your kitbag onto the appropriate baggage vehicle. All runners must deposit their bags at the times instructed and load into their Start Zones.

All lorries are labelled with a range of numbers corresponding to runners’ numbers. So for example, if your running number is 27,582, you should hand your bag in at the lorry with the number range 27,000-27,999.

Staff on the lorries will only accept the official Virgin Money London Marathon kitbag, which was handed to you at Registration.

Once you have deposited your kitbag, you cannot retrieve it until after the race, so you may wish to wear an old item of clothing whilst in the Start Zones. Clothing discarded at the Start will be collected for recycling.

Baggage Drop Lorries Closing time
Green Start Area 09:20
Blue Start Area 09:45
Red Start Area 09:45

Blue Start

When the race starts at 10:00, Elite and Championship runners will be released as normal along with Zones 1 and 2 runners. It will take approximately six minutes for these runners to clear the Start Line.

  • When Zone 3 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes
  • Zone 3 and 4 runners will start at 10:11 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:11 to 10:17
  • When Zone 5 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes
  • Zone 5 and 6 runners will start at 10:22 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:22 to 10:28
  • When Zone 7 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes 
  • Zone 7 and 8 runners will start at 10:33 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:33 to 10:39
  • All runners will be through the Start by 10:40

Red Start

When the race starts at 10:00, the Fast Good For Age runners will be released as normal along with Zones 1 and 2 runners. It will take approximately eight minutes for these runners to clear the Start Line

  • When Zone 3 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes
  • Zone 3 and 4 runners will start at 10:12 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:12 to 10:20
  • When Zone 5 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes
  • Zone 5 and 6 runners will start at 10:24 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:24 to 10:32
  • When Zone 7 runners approach the Start Line, they will be asked to wait for a short period of a few minutes
  • Zone 7 and 8 runners will start at 10:36 and will pass through the Start Line from 10:36 to 10:44
  • All runners will be through the Start by 10:45

Green Start

When the race starts at 10:00, all Zones (1-8) will be released. It will take 10 minutes for all runners to clear the Start Line.