London Marathon Ballot system is a joke.

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  • If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club or does the runner have to be affiliated?

    Thanks, Shaun

  • I would imagine the current method is to attract a diverse mixture of runners, with different motives.

    a) GFA and faster - competitive athletic runners - women's places are deliberately made disproportionately easier to encourage women to take part since the vast majority of runners are men - particularly amongst the faster runners.

    b) Club places - better odds for keen "establishment" runners (ie club runners) who aren't so fast.

    c) Charity places - less keen runners who want to do it for a charitable cause, maybe as a one-off challenge.

    d) Ballot - everyone else.

    The one thing that could be made fairer is to improve the odds of someone who has applied previously and failed to get a place in the ballot. A lucky s0d who won a ballot place every year for the last three years still has the same chance this year as someone who has never won, and that doesn't seem right.  Some people could enter every ballot for years and never get a place.  So what to do about it?

    The "x" strikes and you get a guaranteed place is no longer sustainable, because too many people were getting guaranteed places.  The allocation software could swing the odds in favour of people who had applied unsuccessfully previously, but that's not very transparent.  I like Ron247's idea that previous consecutive unsuccessful applications means you can get multiple ballot chances.

    Logistically this would be more work, and no-one argues that your odds of winning the lottery should improve with the number of times you enter in a row, but the London Marathon is something different.  Some people only want or get a chance to do it once in a lifetime, and it's nice to try and be fairer with the places.

     

  • There is another way in.....

    set up a charity and get a golden bond at cost price image

     

  • There's a waiting list for charities I think ?
  • I like the thinking outside the box Tenjiso!  Of course setting up a charity is hard work.  Might it be easier setting up an affiliated running club?  But as it happens I'm on the committee of a charity already...so I had a look at what "cost price" means.

    Turns out there are two charity schemes.

    Gold bonds - the charity gets 5 places per year for 5 years at £1500 pa.  So, £300 per place, but more places than required, and there's a waiting list for charities to get on board.

    Silver bonds - one place every 5 years for £300.  No mention of a waiting list.  This could be an option?  Raise some money for my charity and get a VLM place?  Is that unethical?  image

    Even if I did seriously consider this I would pretty much have to shell out the £300, since I would want all sponsorship to go to the charity.  I hadn't realised these places are so expensive for the charity.  For instance, if you run for BHF you pay £75 and pledge to raise £2000 (plus gift aid).  So your £75 plus £225 of your sponsorship is actually being paid to VLM.  This seems a bit harsh on your sponsors who are giving money for the charity.  Bit like all these "challenges" where you get to do a bungee jump or cycle across the sahara or whatever while your sponsors pay for it.

     

     

  • I think we need a "London Marathon Race" and a "Virgin London Charity Run"as separate events,  it would solve a lot of problems!

  • What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of members, with a cap of 10 runners. 

    That way if a club had 100 members it could apply for 10 places.

    If it only wanted 5 places it would apply for 5.

    All the running club associations will have the numbers of club members.

    If a club is found to be bending the rules then it gets banned for a period of time.

    That may even encourage more people to join clubs.

    With there being 1500ish running clubs in the UK then the maximum number of places would be 15 000. Leaving 20 000 to be allocated to charities and ballots.

     

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    No more Good For Age? Isn't that excluding runners?
  • Shaun Reid wrote (see)

    If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club...

    Yes, you don't have to be affiliated personally.


    Tenjiso wrote (see)

    There is another way in.....

    set up a charity and get a golden bond at cost price image

     

    There is another way in....  set up a running club and get a guaranteed place at cost price (plus the cost of affiliation to UKA, which would be £50) image

  • Rod Wallace wrote (see)

    What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of members, with a cap of 10 runners. 

    That way if a club had 100 members it could apply for 10 places.

    If it only wanted 5 places it would apply for 5.

    All the running club associations will have the numbers of club members.

    If a club is found to be bending the rules then it gets banned for a period of time.

    That may even encourage more people to join clubs.

    With there being 1500ish running clubs in the UK then the maximum number of places would be 15 000. Leaving 20 000 to be allocated to charities and ballots.

     

    its pretty much like that anyway.  We have 200 members and are entitled to 3 places which we give to club members so long as they meet the club criteria.

     


     

  • Love the annual '[insert sponsor's name] London Marathon Ballot is unfair' thread.

    Sure it's not great but a) it works and b) the event sells out every year so why change it?

    It's only a handful who whinge and whine, the rest either do a different marathon or don't bother. So what if it's full of Z list slebs and fancy dress runners, it's their race, they can fill it with whoever they like. I don't particularly like the way the lottery numbers come out wrong every week but hey, that's life, some you win, some you lose.

     

    Here's my tips, get faster and get a championship or GFA place, work your butt off and raise a lot of money, appear on TV for that sleb place, get lucky in the ballot or shut up and get on with life if none of the above apply.

  • Rod Wallace wrote (see)

    What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of member...

    Isn't that what happens, except with far fewer places than you're indicating?  I was under the impression that clubs generally get a minimum of two places, and more for larger clubs.  All the English clubs and their memberships are listed here:

    http://www.englandathletics.org/core/core_picker/download.asp?id=7284

    I'm not in a club myself - I'd prefer a smaller more easy-going club and there aren't many very near me, and the nearest ones to my urban location are rather competitive affairs.  But I understand from friends that some clubs don't even need as many VLM places as they have (depending on the type of club), so I think your 1 place per 10 members is a bit optimistic.

  • Somebody involved in the computer system was on here last year saying that the system splits you into sub ballots depending on your expected time. If you put 4:00-4:30 you have much less chance of getting in than 3:00.

    I think if it is the first time you have run a marathon or you're not really a runner, the charity route is a good one, but personally I would find it impossible to raise £1600 for something that my friends would think that I wouldn't find that "hard" and was doing because I wanted to ruyn it not because I wanted to raise money.

    However, I would raise money if I got a ballot place.

    It's all downhill, there's no mud and there are thousands of people running next to you. Can't see any attraction really, other than when people ask you if you've run London you can say yes.

  • TimR wrote (see)

    ... Can't see any attraction really, other than when people ask you if you've run London you can say yes.

    I think there is a lot of that in it!  Your friends have done it, your favourite celeb has done it, even Katie Price and done it.... image

  •  

    TimR wrote (see)

     

    I think if it is the first time you have run a marathon or you're not really a runner, the charity route is a good one, but personally I would find it impossible to raise £1600 for something that my friends would think that I wouldn't find that "hard" and was doing because I wanted to ruyn it not because I wanted to raise money.

    However, I would raise money if I got a ballot place.

     

    I am in the same situation. My family/friends/colleagues have all sponsored me before, they know that I can run a marathon and its difficult to ask the same people again and again.

    I would raise money for a charity if I got a ballot or club place, but would pick a small local one that has meaning to the people that are giving their money, one that does not have a minimum amount. 

    The "big" charities and the LM are effectively pushing the smaller charities to one side.

    The LM is a business that is there to make money, thats why Virgin paid so much for it. They sell places to charities for £300+ thus making 10 times more than they make from the normal entry fees.

    The number of guaranteed charity places goes up each year, meaning less and less ballot places.

    The GFA time will come down, thus opening more places for guaranteed charities.

    If they were completely open and transparent on how the places are allocated then people like me would not really have much room for moaning.

     

     

     

  • The LM is a business that is there to make money......

    Isn't that the whole purpose of a business?

     

  • No it's not the whole purpose of a business. But the accountants would have you think that!
  • If there are more people entering than there are places then surely the answer is to put the price up. Supply and demand and all that.

    Double the price. Less people will enter, so those that do enter will have a better chance of getting a place and the organisers will make more money. Capitalism FTW.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I think it's a charity rather than a business. It's obviously in their best interest to raise as much for charity as possible.
  • TimR wrote (see)
    No it's not the whole purpose of a business. But the accountants would have you think that!

    What is it for, if not to make a profit?

  • The London marathon uses its profits for london based charities..........

    If they just give running clubs more places then you would get loads of people joining runnuingclubs at £15 a time.never running with them or giving anything to the club just to get their hands on a marathon ticket

    surely its great to give more places to non runners to get them into running and to start getting healthy and fit.........if you are already running then you already got the message

  • exiled claret wrote (see)

    I'm also sure that there is scope for more places to be made available for those with slightly faster times. There is a huge bulge of runners going through at 4:00-4:30 pace. If the roads can cope with them then, there is surely an opportunity to offer a few more places with those expecting to run around 3:30.


    Let me take a wild guess what kind of time you run?

    Around 3:30 maybe? image

  • "The London Marathon Charitable Trust - The London Marathon Ltd.

    The London Marathon Ltd is wholly owned by the London Marathon Charitable Trust and is responsible for organising the Virgin London Marathon, adidas Half Marathon, Bupa London 10000 and the Standard Chartered Great City Race. Its income comes from sponsorship, marketing, advertising, entry fees, TV etc. and after costs 100% of its surplus is handed to The London Marathon Charitable Trust which then awards grants to recreational projects mainly in London. The amount of the surplus handed over to the Charitable Trust in 2009/2010 was £4.6m which is more than any other Marathon makes anywhere in the world. We are proud of the fact that 100% of this surplus goes to charity."

    More of those greedy bastard charities, I'm afraid to say!  It's just outrageous!

  • Wilkie wrote (see)
    "The London Marathon Charitable Trust - The London Marathon Ltd.

    The London Marathon Ltd is wholly owned by the London Marathon Charitable Trust and is responsible for organising the Virgin London Marathon, adidas Half Marathon, Bupa London 10000 and the Standard Chartered Great City Race. Its income comes from sponsorship, marketing, advertising, entry fees, TV etc. and after costs 100% of its surplus is handed to The London Marathon Charitable Trust which then awards grants to recreational projects mainly in London. The amount of the surplus handed over to the Charitable Trust in 2009/2010 was £4.6m which is more than any other Marathon makes anywhere in the world. We are proud of the fact that 100% of this surplus goes to charity."

    More of those greedy bastard charities, I'm afraid to say!  It's just outrageous!

    How dare they make any money.  Capitalists.

  • Mr BoatMr Boat ✭✭✭

    I can perhaps see why people insist on running the LM and aren't really interested in any others. I've been involved in a conversation before when a couple of people were reeling of friends and family members who had run ''London'' and their various finishing times. I mentioned I'd gone under 2:50 at Abingdon and I may have well said I'd run the local Park Run! ''London'' is the only marathon.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Abingdon?  You've made that up.  Where the hell's Abingdon?  And 2:50?  Only the elites run under three hours.  Must've been short.  Still, all for a good cause.  Who were you running for?

    image

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    I'm pretty sure Mr. Boat's Garmin said Abingdon was 26.29 miles, actually, Phil, which means the course was definitely long.

  • Told someone I had run Edinburgh Mara this year, could have told them I had been shopping to Morrisons............."where is that is it a big race?" image

  • Shaun Reid wrote (see)

    If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club or does the runner have to be affiliated?

    Thanks, Shaun

     

    Wilkie wrote (see)
    Shaun Reid wrote (see)

    If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club...

    Yes, you don't have to be affiliated personally.

    Ah...but the number of places a club has is related to the number of UKA members at that club. So at a club where UKA membership is optional, how would you feel about a non-UK member getting the club place?

  • The real joke is the way everyone gets wound up about it
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