London Marathon Ballot system is a joke.

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Comments

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Rod Wallace wrote (see)

     

    Maybe over the winter a GFA in the half would be a realistic target. I have one pencilled in for November.

     

    There's no such thing, unless you're quick enough to run a half - I presume you mean half marathon - in sub-1:15 and get a Championship place.

  • The one bit about place allocation that you've all missed is, if you don't live in GB, there are two other ways to get in - the overseas ballot, and more costly but a guaranteed place through a tour company, some countries have a designated tour operator which has been given a plane-load of guaranteed start places. I know this is true because I did it several times myself. - expensive because it includes flights, hotel (not a cheap one), start number and bus transport to the start.

  • London Marathon serves a single purpose - by a variety of means - which is not grasped by many people. It's a charity which exists for the simple purpose to raise money for other charities, via the mechanism of organising a running race.

    Popularity & visibility are critical factors for their success. So they run several races within an overall race day. A race for elite athletes, a race for less-abled athletes, a race for aspiring committed athletes and a race for aspirational and frequently ignorant non-athletes who'd like to give it a try.

    The race organisers tweak the entry system to ensure that there are sufficient numbers within each sub-race to continue to maximise the amount of publicity, in order to attract charity sponsorship. It's a bit like Coke's "Secret Formula".

    Some races emphasise the speed of competition by setting tough qualification times - Boston Marathon.
    Some races are shameless about raising money for charity (NYC Marathon $281 entry fee)
    Some emphasise the fun dimension - Marathon du Medoc
    Some emphasise inclusiveness and accessibility - your local 5K Parkrun for example

    It's entirely possible that what the VLM race organisers consider to be a successful event may not correspond with your view. I don't see any point complaining about it. It's just the way it is. In NY you only have a 6% chance of succeeding in the ballot (and it is a really crappy experience in my subjective opinion). At least there is a ballot for VLM and you have a chance to get lucky. Or if you have money, buy yourself a charity or travel place. Or if you are blessed with health and fitness, run fast to quality for a GFA place. Or if you are famous for some whimsical reason, use that as justification to enter. But don't whine about it please. VLM doesn't exist FOR you. Runners are the PRODUCT of the system.

    Addendum. Go to Paris instead. Brilliantly organised, beautiful surroundings, fast course, you get 4-6 weeks to apply before places sell out. Same for Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Eindhoven, Rome, Barcelona, Loch Ness and probably Luton or Abingdon too. Be positive. image

  • I can see there's not an easy way in for you Rod but it's not impossible. Prioritise your training over other things you have going on in life and you can get the GFA - I ran 7x a week to make qualification standards for races. It's not such a high standard (if you look at WAVA tables for objectivity).

    And there's about a 1 in 6 chance with the ballot. If both of those things seem too hard, then i suggest you change what you are looking for. Run another race, run another distance or rob a bank. image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    Tricky Dicky¹ wrote (see)

    London Marathon serves a single purpose - by a variety of means - which is not grasped by many people. It's a charity which exists for the simple purpose to raise money for other charities, via the mechanism of organising a running race.

    Popularity & visibility are critical factors for their success. So they run several races within an overall race day. A race for elite athletes, a race for less-abled athletes, a race for aspiring committed athletes and a race for aspirational and frequently ignorant non-athletes who'd like to give it a try.

    The race organisers tweak the entry system to ensure that there are sufficient numbers within each sub-race to continue to maximise the amount of publicity, in order to attract charity sponsorship. It's a bit like Coke's "Secret Formula".

    Some races emphasise the speed of competition by setting tough qualification times - Boston Marathon.
    Some races are shameless about raising money for charity (NYC Marathon $281 entry fee)
    Some emphasise the fun dimension - Marathon du Medoc
    Some emphasise inclusiveness and accessibility - your local 5K Parkrun for example

    It's entirely possible that what the VLM race organisers consider to be a successful event may not correspond with your view. I don't see any point complaining about it. It's just the way it is. In NY you only have a 6% chance of succeeding in the ballot (and it is a really crappy experience in my subjective opinion). At least there is a ballot for VLM and you have a chance to get lucky. Or if you have money, buy yourself a charity or travel place. Or if you are blessed with health and fitness, run fast to quality for a GFA place. Or if you are famous for some whimsical reason, use that as justification to enter. But don't whine about it please. VLM doesn't exist FOR you. Runners are the PRODUCT of the system.

    Addendum. Go to Paris instead. Brilliantly organised, beautiful surroundings, fast course, you get 4-6 weeks to apply before places sell out. Same for Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Eindhoven, Rome, Barcelona, Loch Ness and probably Luton or Abingdon too. Be positive. image

    Dear quite-new web site editor,

    Can we create a "sticky" from Tricky's post - ooh, Tricky Dicky's sticky! - to plop at the top of the marathon sub-forum each year, just about the time when all the London Marathon rejections are confirmed?

    Ta!

    x

  • As a newcomer to this forum I have to admit I find some of this thread bewildering. There seems to be some people who seem to treat a VLM place as some kind of inalienable right! Bizarre!

  • Thank you Tricky Dicky for your truly comprehensive explanation.  Agree with PhilPub re posting at top of marathon sub-forums.  It might spare a few postings from those - who as Crimson says - seem to have a massive sense of self entitlement to place in London, but then again it might not...

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  

    DO NOT put Tricky Dicky's post as a sticky!!!  It will take all the fun out of the annual whine-fest that starts as soon as the rejection magazines are received!  image

    By the way I love the statement that runners are the product of the system - so true. A colleague of mine got a place last year on his first attempt in the ballot (jammy git image), and is now a committed runner and is entered for another marathon next spring (not London).  

    In the meantime, as this thread gradually dies image, I patiently await the start of next year's.  

     

  • Great for your colleague Tenjiso. I'd suggest this is the exception to the rule though. I guess most VLMers are one-and-done. Based on my opinion only, and no statistics whatsoever! image

  • I got in for next year. It will be my 5th London and 6th marathon.

    Having said that, I would agree with the 'one-and-done' statement in general.

  • IC5 - my statistical sample size of one must be more reliable than yours of zero image

    Was London your first marathon Nykie? 

     

  • By one-and-done, do you mean people who were not runners, got a place in VLM, did it and never ran again?

    Or people who were runners, got a place in VLM, carreid on running but never bothered with VLM again?

    I don't know any of the first kind, but I'm one of the second.

    On the other hand, I know several people who've done two or three VLMs.

  • I've done 3 FLM's
  • I think there are people each year that ise london as a platform to beco e regular runners.the same as RFL..........and i think this is an important job for both of these events as well as the fund raisers they are

  • I was lucky to get a club place two years ago and my name came out of the general ballot for 2013. So it is possible, just keep at it.

    Having said that, if my name hadn't come out I wasn't going to lose any sleep. I consider VLM as an event not a race. Good to do but there are many better races to go for.

  • Why do they only run it once a year if it's so popular? Autumn VLM/ Spring VLM, would improve entry chances and double the ammount for charity, everyone wins - don't they?

  • It would water the effect down. 

    They'd no longer be able to say it was the biggest one-day fundraising event in the world.

  • I imagine it would be hard to persuade the authorities to shut down all the roads more often

  • Christmas is popular too - can we have that twice a year please ?
  • But can I only have a birthday every 2 years now please
  • Ultra cougie wrote (see)
    Christmas is popular too - can we have that twice a year please ?

    Oh lord, please no! 

    I'm working on getting made biennial - and then leap years only image

  • The build-up to Christmas is longer than a marathon training build-up.

  • I take it that they are really strict on the cut off time for Champs start. Do I have any hope of them being lenient and giving me one with my 2:45:13?

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    WarrenK78 wrote (see)

    Do I have any hope of them being lenient and giving me one with my 2:45:13?

    Nope!  A couple of years ago I put together a proper little sob-story e-mail about how my 1:15:13 half marathon after long term injury come-back should earn me a Champs place, but they were having none of it.

  • image Did you Phil!! Makes me chuckle.

    However, I shouldn't laugh too much, as I couldn't even get the Mortimer 10k of 2006 to change my 40:01 to the 39:59 my watch reckoned image

  • Tenjiso wrote (see)

    IC5 - my statistical sample size of one must be more reliable than yours of zero image

    Was London your first marathon Nykie? 

     

    Yes, London 2007 was my first. Sat up in hospital in 2006 after waking up from a 12 hour operation and said I was running it for charity the year after.

  • Nykie - so perhaps you could say that you became a commited marathon runner as a result of that London experience?  I was just wondering why you seemed sure that the majority of London Marathon entrants would treat it as a one-off when you appear to be a classic example of the contrary?  (I hope this doesn't come over sounding offensive in any way - it's not meant to be).

    Phil - I wonder how many similar letters the organisers receive every year?  I can imagine how they must react when they've received loads of them.  I also wonder if any such letters ever actually succeed?

  • Tenjiso wrote (see)

    Phil - I wonder how many similar letters the organisers receive every year?  I can imagine how they must react when they've received loads of them.  I also wonder if any such letters ever actually succeed?

    I doubt it!  They're hard-hearted buggers.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. Bring in discretion and it all gets a bit messy.

    You can put me down as a convert to running through the London Marathon as well.  Saw it as an obvious "challenge" after losing weight and getting a bit fit, caught the bug!  On the other hand, besides the full-time running folk I've got to know subsequently, amongst other people I know there are definitely quite a few bucket-list once-is-enough types.  Fair enough, at least when they crossed the finish line and said "never again", they actually meant it.  image

  • London was my first running event when I was 50.  At 63 and have clocked up more than 100 events.  I am still running, although in the distance events I do I am more of a wa#ker than a runners.

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