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Win Entry to the Virgin London Marathon 2015

Dec 26, 2014 | Running | 73 comments

finished marathon


I am over the top excited for today’s giveaway- I can’t quite believe it! One very very lucky winner will win entry to the Virgin London Marathon 2015 thanks to Holiday Inn, the official hotel partner of the VLM.

Not only that, but they will also receive two night’s stay at Holiday Inn (one the night before the Marathon, and another to experience the brand during their training), monthly personal training sessions PLUS a four month training programme to get you marathon ready.  You’ll also be kitted out in running kit for your training and the big day.

This is huge. The London Marathon is one of the world’s largest marathons and notoriously difficult to get in to. I ran it in 2012 as my first ever marathon and loved it. The crowds, the atmosphere, the support are unlike any race I’ve done since.

Whether you’re a marathon newbie, or a seasoned pro you could win the chance to be toeing the line on the 26th April.  To enter simply leave a comment telling me why you want to run, for an extra entry tweet about your answer using the hashtag #restandrun and including @charliedwatson and @HolidayInn.

Holiday Inn_MPU_674x400px

As part of the prize, I would love you to contribute to posts on The Runner Beans to see how the training is going and hear more about the PT sessions- sweaty selfies included!

Competition closes on 12th Jan and a winner will be chosen at random. I can’t wait to hear about your reasons for wanting to run the VLM 2015! If you are running the Virgin London Marathon in 2015, why not think about staying at Holiday Inn, Stratford. They’ve put together Marathon Packages that are designed to support runners and their families by providing a great night’s sleep before the race, a nutritious breakfast and a coach transfer to the start line.


  1. Darren Maher

    Inspiration .Jane Tomlinson gave me the running Bug!!

  2. Shanna

    London is my favorite city in the world and I would love to run this marathon as my first!!!!

  3. Kathryn

    This year was my 3rd ‘no’ magazine from the ballot, would love the opportunity to run in such an epic event!

  4. Emmanuel ovola

    It would be great to get a 1st class experience with a hotel room stay & nutritious breakfast before the marathon, it would make you feel like a professional athlete.

  5. Amy

    I’d love to give this a shot, always been a keen runner, it’s in my genes! but I’ve never gone the distance. Maybe 2015 is my year?!

  6. Christian Evans

    I’d love to run London Marathon. To get to the end and have my family there cheering me on would be the best feeling ever

  7. Kieran

    No challenge like a marathon… No city as iconic as London. Would live to be on the start line in 2015

  8. Catriona

    What an amazing competition. Having recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder, I would love to make the training part of my recovery and feel the sense of accomplishment when crossing the line.

  9. Richard Bond

    Running has become a massive part of my life since losing my little boy and London was the first marathon I ever ran in his memory. To run it again would be amazing as everything about it is just incredible.

  10. Ruthie Martin

    Breaking my foot at the end of October has made me realise how important running is to me. Training for and running in the 2015 London Marathon would be my comeback race!

  11. Leigh O'Malley

    What a fab competition! I would love to win this to give me another chance to run the marathon, I was unsuccessful in the ballot but having run the marathon once before I have well and truly caught the bug. And even more so now I have moved to London and spend my time reminiscing as I see the route! Being able to write to your blog audience would be incredible too as I loved blogging my training last year via

  12. Elizabeth Wong

    I would love the chance to run the London Marathon – it’ll be my first marathon and I would love for it to be around the city I live in and absolutely love! Nothing better than running around landmarks and places that I have a personal history with.

  13. Cynthia

    My mom passed away unexpectedly in April 2013, and I was unsuccessful in my attempts to run the 2014 race in her memory (got a ‘no’ from the ballot and the charity I applied to gave me top marks for reason, but said my fundraising ideas weren’t enough). While she was never a runner–and for the last few years of her life she couldn’t even stand unaided–she always told everyone about my life in London and running experiences. I still hope to get to run London one day in her memory!

  14. lauraestewart

    I’m going to have to enter this just for the chance to run London with* Mr. Ballot Lucky Alex. (*I promise not to run faster than him….)

  15. Lara “Princess Goddess Mommy” Wiltshire

    There are a million reasons why I should not enter this draw but the lure of crossing that finish line is just the most singularly amazing feeling in the world.

  16. Charles Stevenson

    My main reason for wanting to run VLM15 is because I collapsed in my last Marathon and would love the chance to put things right.

  17. Steve reynolds

    46 years old an been running 3 years! 3stone lighter now non smoking non drinking runaholic….. Running edinburgh to raise funds for a cousin in Scotland! Would love to run this on for me, to celebrate my achievements!!!

  18. Pella

    Ooh would love a VLM2015 place – my mum managed to miss me in 2014 so this would give her another chance to cheer me on!

  19. David Pearce

    Being a Londoner, born and raised, and a marathon virgin, my runner’s dream is to pop my marathon cherry by doing the Virgin London marathon 🙂

  20. Karen

    I haven’t ever run a full marathon – the idea of signing up for them scares me! So this would be the extra little push I need to get me across the starting line for 26.2. Plus, I love London!

  21. claire Rowe

    I usually run trails with my dogs, but a little boy I know has just undergone major multiple organ transplants & now I want to up my game to raise money for his charity (Williams wishes) & prove I can go the distance in London, the best city of all

  22. Alicia eno

    Always have wished for London Town

  23. Kiera Parkes

    I would love to run VLM2015 as have lost count of the number of rejections I’ve had from the ballot- desperate to run my hometown marathon with some good friends!

  24. Anja

    I would absolutely love to run VLM2015 as my plans for running marathon no. 2 last year were de-railed by injury. I’ve painstakingly built myself back up and am searching for a spring marathon to tackle – why not the best one of all?!

  25. Trina

    Very excited to say I will forego the opportunity to enter to give all of you enthusiasts more chance of winning! Good luck.

  26. Jon Fuhrmann

    I’ve entered a marathon before and was injured in the runup, so had to pull out – I’d love a second chance!

  27. Allie

    I ran the London marathon last year on a charity place, and training for it was the single force driving my recovery from depression and disordered eating. While I’d love to get the chance to race again this year (failed ballot, again), I’m running the Vancouver Marathon in Canada the week after – so I’d just be being marathon greedy and a bit masochistic. However, I’d love to see Catriona get it – I don’t know her, but I know the training can be exceptionally beneficial if you approach it in a positive way during recovery from an eating disorder.

  28. Nici

    I’m new to running this year and I think training for London 2015 would be the best motivation to get my kit on during the colder months.

  29. Holly Glaister

    When I started running in Aug 2013 I said I would do a marathon in 2015 – Would love to make london marathon my first, a little earlier in the year than I was planning but what better way to ramp up my training than a little bit of the fear factor!!!

  30. peachylau

    I want to run the VLM2015 to be with Leah. She gave me so much confidence running and blogging wise. Running it with her would be an amazing moment and a great way to say goodbye before she returns to New-Zealand

  31. Georgie

    Great competition! Having just moved to London I would love the chance to run round my new home city.

  32. Mary Beth Naumann

    It’s a bucket list race for this KY girl! And I’m driven to run this year to honor those who can’t who we miss dearly. It would fall between Asheville, NC and the Horse Capital, but hey, I’m a glutton!

  33. ptmollie

    Charlie- I am so impressed with all the collaborations you have made in in 2014. You are unstoppable and should be very proud of your blog. Kudos x

  34. Karen Concannon

    Reading your blog and others encouraged me to get started on getting fit! Would love to start a marathon journey this way.

  35. Michelle

    CrOssing the finish line after doing a marathon is possibly my “best feeling”! I would love to do that all over again in 2015 in London x

  36. kristonlion

    I Would love to run the marathon in London because I am trying to get back into running! I’m only up to 10k right now though so I don’t know if there will be enough time to train!

  37. Susan Lewis

    To continue to inspire and ” seed” a new generaton of runners that anyone with the right nurture, hydration and support can grow tall and cross the finish line. Having inspired my niece to run, she has a place for London 2015 and I would love to run alongside and cross that finish line with her.

  38. Penny Silverwood

    London Marathon before I’m 30 has always been the dream! With only 3 years left to risk the ballot it would be amazing to win this place in 2015!

  39. Annie

    I haven’t been to London since I was a senior in HS and was fat and unathletic…haha! I’d love to make my triumphant return to England by running a marathon!!! It would be my fourth. 🙂

  40. Ollie

    Because my Girlfriend/Training Partner got a place and I didn’t, but I’m still in training!

  41. Lee Treadwell

    After 2 years of running, 4.5 stone lost, 5 half marathons, and 2 unsuccessful London marathon ballot entries I really really want to run London in 2015, to complete a journey and life long ambition! My housemate/training partner managed to bag a place and she’s going to force me out on all her training runs, so please stop them being in vain!

  42. Jo Ravenhill

    Me and my husband want to run this iconic event to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband got in and I didn’t…gutted. It is our goal to run a marathon, it would be fantastic to do it together.

  43. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Wow! Amazing giveaway! I’d love to run it as it’s now my hometown and I’ve tried for the last 5 years and not got in- starting to lose hope!

  44. Hannah Biscombe

    People only half believe me when I say running changed my life… But it’s true.
    12 years a smoker, I never gave my diet a second thought and was always the last one standing at the bar.
    In 2009, I was watching the London marathon on TV, through the usual weekend hangover… I found myself utterly bowled-over and completely inspired by how amazing the thousands of dedicated runners were. I wanted a piece of that! I signed up for a 10k that morning (I couldn’t run between two lamp posts) and haven’t looked back since. I stopped smoking, started training and found myself healthier and happier than ever before. 5 years later and running is a huge part of my new life now. A chance to run VLM myself would be a very special, and very thankful, return to where it all started.

  45. Jane Carnall

    Because my legs can. Because my lungs can. Because my head can. Because my Dad can’t. Live you Daddy. #alzheimers

  46. Francesca Andrews

    I’d love to run london to keep me sane! Running has improved my self belief and helped me to attack stressful areas in my life head on. Running my first marathon would be such a boost and for it to be an event I’ve watched from the sofa for many years would be the most amazing experience.

  47. Gabby H

    What a fantastic contest! I would love the opportunity to run the London marathon! I became injured right before the 2 marathons and would like to try and run one pain free (is that even possible?).

  48. Gav Fearnley

    My running pal got in….. I didn’t! He needs my guidance! ;0) Plus it the biggest and best road race in the world!

  49. Nemo (@gnomes76)

    I would love to run London. I tried this year and failed, so I desperately want to complete it. I had major surgery on my right arm & nearly lost the use of it. Running has kept me going and I’m recovering well. I want to show other people with injuries they can do amazing things too, that’s why I tried this year. However, I am now stronger, fitter & more determined!

  50. jessscottyoung

    I have only just moved to London (from Sydney) so training and running the London marathon in 2015 would not only be an AMAZING way for me to see and learn about this fantastic new city, it would also give me something to focus towards. I have always wanted to run a marathon but have never known how to train for one, always feeling it was out of my reach. To win this would be a double whammy 🙂

  51. Abi Williams

    I would kick myself if I didn’t put myself into entering this! Year in year out I watch in on TV and to get the chance to actually participate in the race and experience it all in person would be phenomenal. I filled in the ballot form in 2014 (for 2015) but never submitted it because I was nervous of the training if I had actually got a place. I know I’m ready to run now and would love the chance to do so!
    Awesome competition Charlie!! 😀

  52. healthyhappierbear

    I would love the opportunity to run another European marathon while living in Europe!

  53. Victoria Engelmann

    Dear Charlie, I just signed up for my first half-marathon in March that I am dedicating to my older brother and I would love the opportunity to dedicate a full marathon to my father. Over the years I have watched myself become a stronger person because of them and I would love to start 2015 with a half and full-marathon in honour of two amazing men who left this world too quickly.

    Much love, Victoria

  54. Mary

    What an amazing giveaway Charlie!
    I would love a place in the London marathon for 2015. My Mum is yet to see me run a marathon – last year she was in the middle of chemo and so couldn’t make it to see me run, although she enjoyed tracking me online. Despite thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy the crowds of London I absolutely fell in love with the atmosphere last year and would love another chance in 2015.

  55. Kim

    I would love to run the London Marathon and have been trying (unsuccessfully) for years to win a coveted ballot place. Running the London Marathon is one of the last few items on my ‘Things I want to do before I’m 30’ list and this sounds like a great opportunity to get the additional support I may need to achieve my goal.

  56. alice mayo

    3x rejected but just want to have a go! Done 6 halfs and need a challenge!

  57. Rachel

    Working in mental health I would love the chance to raise money for the charity Kids Company as well as the opportunity to run my first marathon in my home town.

  58. Leah Ward

    I stumbled upon your blog through your friend Leah’s blog. I also found her blog this evening, it called to me because my name is also Leah and I love running 🙂 I started running with a free ladies running group in my town in 2012. I love the support and friendships I’ve made through my running group. However in 2014 running took a back seat as I gave birth to my first child – a little boy. In 2015 my new years resolution is to have more me time and to run my first marathon. I think the two go hand in hand. Would absolutely love to win this prize and I think it would be all the motivation I need to make my 2015 resolution a reality 🙂 Leah from Dublin

  59. adriennehochman

    This is such an incredible giveway! I began training for my first marathon exactly a year ago, and the experience completely changed my life. Training helped me to become a happier, healthier person, and it helped me to be more successful in all areas of my life. Running across the finish line in the Hamburg marathon last spring was one of the greatest moments of my life so far. Ever since completing Hamburg, I’ve been dying to do London, as London is one of my favorite cities, and I’d like any excuse to visit my many friends who live in London. I would love to have this opportunity! -Adrienne

  60. chriscsawyer

    Missed out on a first marathon last year due to injury – desperate to break my 26.2 duck in 2015 and what better place to do to it in than London

  61. bristolrunnergirl

    I’d love to run VLM after being inspired to love running again (and also realising that others have the same low points) by yours and the other TNR girls blogs.

  62. Ainslie

    Running has taken me around the world in he last year (check out my blog and I would love to finish my amazing year of travel and running off by taking part in an incredible marathon in the place I have decided to call home.

  63. Chloe

    I very much identify with how you were when you started this blog, and would love to do a marathon. It would be great motivation to stick to a fitness plan as I continue in education, and would be a great achievement to kick start my fitness again.

  64. Adrian D'Enrico

    Well last year was the year of the half marathon – a drunken bet in a pub led to me running 14 because it was, well, 2014! Everyone is now asking what’s next… I don’t fancy 15 half marathons (well, I kinda do…), but a place in the infamous VLM would be incredible. I went to watch last year and can honestly say it was one of the most humbling and inspiring things I’ve ever seen. I want to be one of those runners, not challenging for the win, but competing with myself to complete the distance in a respectable time and sacrificing the many hours for training all in aid of a good cause!

    Anyway, that’s enough for a plea for competition winning – thanks for the blog and good luck in your running this year!

  65. Sid keyte

    I’d love to win a place on Sunday the 26th April 2015 to challenge myself physically and to raise lots of money for charity.

  66. Lynsey

    Running is one of the only sports where runners get to run the same course as the legends they may be finished hours before us but we can still run the same route. And whose footsteps to follow in but the legend that is Paula Radcliffe if she does decide to run this year. I have run 3 previous marathons and several halfs and 10ks but there is something’s special about the marathon distance! And paula is my idol… What an inspiration! Imagine running the same race as her!!!

  67. Serena

    Two years ago I ran my first marathon, and it seems incredible that I actually ran (or trotted slowly) for more than five hours. That’s enough time to drive to Devon or fly to New York, but instead I was on my feet and self-propelled for 26.2 miles. It’s so hard to believe that I’d like to have another go, just to remind myself that someone who’s never been athletic can still do surprising things in their sixties. Who knows, I may even be able to do it faster this time!

  68. Hannah

    Having finally broken the 2 hour mark at half marathon (after a decade of trying) I’ve decided it’s time to step up to the full distance. I live in London and would love to do my “home” marathon. My husband qualifies every year under GFA but has been a bit slack on his training of late so this year, if I can find a place, he has said he’ll run it with me. It would be a glorious experience and a huge achievement for me.

  69. Sara Marinho

    Because I ran my first Marathon last year, at Berlin, and I cant wait to run another marathon in an amazing city! It would be a dream come to true to run this mithical marathon!

  70. Rosie

    Hi Charlie, 2014 was the year I “got” running and I’d love to keep the motivation sky high by running a marathon in this amazing city we live and work! Rosie

  71. Angela

    My beautiful mum Charlotte died of cancer 9 weeks after being misdiagnosed, each year we ran the Race for life together holding hands and always crying at the finish, grateful we didn’t know any female which had died from cancer. Mum used to get incredibly emotional watching the London marathon and she had a dream to do it , unfortunately that dream along with many others were unfulfilled. My mum was my inspiration, she believed in me and my children, we could do anything if we set our mind to it. I will never accept my mum’s death , all I. Can do is do as much as I can to fulfill the dreams my mum had while being the best mum I can be.


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