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I was lucky enough to be accepted for VLM with my first attempt. As others have said there are plenty of other marathons to do but keep an eye out for the announcement of a Liverpool/Mersey marathon due to take place next October.
The local council (who unfortunately awarded the running of the race to a non local company and rejected the plans of the man who organises most of the major races in Liverpool!) are hoping to make this a permanent fixture on the running calendar and want the run to be one of the biggest in the country eventually only behind VLM and GNR.