London Marathon Good For Age

All,

As with many of you keen runners, i went all out this year for a GFA entry. I ran Brighton and London Back to back. Brighton was tough in the last few miles, and when my time started to slip i gave up  in hope for London. I really felt the pain of the back to back marathons (especially as this was only my second and third marathon), but i gritted my teeth to achieve 3:08:53... Good for age for my category.

I phoned up today to ask about entering for this, and was informed (by a not so helpful person at VLM) that i should look out on the website. One thing that concerned me is that she said " there are changes due to take place about the way this is done".

Does anyone know about this, as this concerns me greatly. I know NYM times have got tougher, but they gave people a year notice. I had a target time in my head, and i made sure i got it... to change the goal posts now (after the event) would be heart breaking. Whether i could of went faster or not on this occasion is a different question, but the simple fact is, i did what i needed to do to 'guarentee' myself an entry next year... Is this guarenteed, and if not, how is this fair???

confused.com anyone know the answers image

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Comments

  • It may just be the way it is administered. GFA involved bits of paper and snail mail last year, whereas I believe some of the other categories had online entry (i think Champs entries may have gone that way last year). Relax and enjoy the moment!
  • Don't know mate, I've also qualified for gfa hopefully a couple of weeks ago. I'll keep checking the website?



    I'd be gutted if after a few years of ballot rejections, they move the goalposts for gfa.
  • I hope they announce any new times before the ballot on Monday 29th. Although I suppose no harm in entering ballot just in case.
  • Maybe they will make it easier!!!!

  • Well I ran 2:59:47 so even if they bring it down to 3 hours, I'm in by the skin of my teeth haha!
  • Starting to panic I didnt defer now!!!

  • Paul Addicott wrote (see)

    All,

    ... Is this guarenteed, and if not, how is this fair??? confused.com anyone know the answers image

     

    I don't think they worry much about whether the runners think that any element of the London Marathon entry system is fair.

  • There has been talk of changes to GFA times for a couple of years now, it is due to happen.  Some influential vet's organisations have pointed out a few anomalies in the system and the powers that be at VLM have listened apparently.

    I shouldn't worry too much, the obvious anomaly is that men have to run 3:15 from 41 up to age 59.  I can see this one being tweaked, could be argued that the ladies time of 3:50 is a little soft by comparison to the blokes but we shall see.  The rest will either stay the same or have minor tweaks IMHO. 

  • Wardi I have to agree I think the ladies has a massive window from 3:15-3:50 for all ages 18-49, I think that needs to be looked at.The men's is incredibly tough Age 60-64 sub 3:30 when an 18 year old woman only has to go sub 3:50 doesn;t make sense really, hopefully the changes will be for the better I really can't see them making it harder for the guys, definitely not image)

     

  • The male/female anomaly is to encourage more woment to enter ... however, the male age-grade anomaly is just unfair to the oldies.

  • Yes from a woman I think it's totally unfair, the men's is very strict lets hope they change it in the guy's favour image

     

  • Well you have gone some way to reassuring me that it should be ok, I am just nervous because if the tougher times at New York.

    At least you will be ok jedwardimage
  • Not panicking as much now
  • Male Age 60-64 Boston 3:50:00

    Male Age 60-64 London 3:30:00

    Having run both, IMHO Boston is a much tougher course, but not 20 mins tougher so one of them is wrong.

  • Neither of the are necessarily 'wrong', why would you expect them to be equal? Boston has to fill the entire field (near enough) with qualifiers, so it's in their interest to try and have an equal qualifying field through all age groups, hence the 5 year age ranges they use, with generally more favourable times than London. London couldn't cope with 20,000 GFA qualifiers, or even 10,000. London only has GFA to maximise the number of total number of runners by having as many sub3:30 runners as possible - an entirely random ballot would clog the course with 4-5 hour runners, because that's where most people are.



    I'm not saying that it's fair, but that's the way it is.
  • With a Paris time of 3:49:49 I reckon the women's time is just right...
  • CD - I agree - points taken!

    I am not fussed either way as I have a GFA for London and a BQ for Boston and the races are entirely different in nature.

    London is a national fun run for 80% of the competitors, while 80% of runners at Boston have to qualify. Also, I get the impression that the BAA make massive donations to charity, while in London, the charity money comes from the runners themselves.

    So a different set up....either way, both events will continue to be massively over-subscribed in the future I'm sure.

  • Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

    London is a national fun run for 80% of the competitors, while 80% of runners at Boston have to qualify.

     

    Little bit of an elitist attitude there, I'd guess to a lot it was anything but fun and one of the biggest acheivements.

  • Mike- I've done both and think Boston is better to pb in despite the hills at miles 17 etc and the marathon belongs to the city so you feel part of something special there for the whole weekend .London doesn't fall short of it but even though its flat I still haven't run faster than I did in Boston despite three attempts.
  • In the 60-64 Men's category at this years VLM the the first runner to go outside of 3:30 came 39/475! I think that proves it's a tough qualifying time. Luckily I managed 3:27:52 so hopefully ok for next year.
  • Biggles - fantastic time! I agree and also sub 3:15 for a 59 year old is pretty testing!!!
  • I think that they need to change goals for women along with champs places - there were virtually no women in the FGFA field, it was all 40+ men. I think most women who could get a FGFA also could get a champs place, so understandably enter that.

  • I called up today to check whether the GFA criteria is changing, and was told that it will be the same in 2014 as it was in 2013. Important for me because I am a 26-year old with a 3:08 pb set in 2012. Fingers crossed this is the case...

  • DS2 completely agree which is why they should have age group bands like Boston, 40-49 and 50-59 with appropriate times.
  • 15West wrote (see)

    I think that they need to change goals for women along with champs places - there were virtually no women in the FGFA field, it was all 40+ men. I think most women who could get a FGFA also could get a champs place, so understandably enter that.

     

    I didn't see any women (except perhaps one - they were a long way away...) in the FGFA at the red start at the top of Greenwich park.  Aren't they at one of the other ones?  Green is it?  The question I have is why do they have female changing at the FGFA pen at the red start?  Must've been pretty quiet in there.

  • MattyWelsh wrote (see)

    I called up today to check whether the GFA criteria is changing, and was told that it will be the same in 2014 as it was in 2013. Important for me because I am a 26-year old with a 3:08 pb set in 2012. Fingers crossed this is the case...


    But someone aged 26 is not exactly "Old". There are professional footballers still plying their trade on a level playing field for another 10 years beyond that.

    Personally, I'd say that over 30yo a sub 3 was "good", over 40 a sub 3:15, over 50 a 3:30, over 60 a 3:45. For the women, I'd add 15 minutes to each category. The stats show that it's more like 10 minutes, male to female based on top end performances, but if it's too scientific they would have to keep changing the rules when a record got broken.

    So, for me Matty, I'm afraid that you will have to train harder and get 2:45 Champs start, or get a sub 3 aged 30.
    Personally, I am aware that my own performances are no longer eligible, as they are all more than 2 years old. And I'm not bitter.

  • Blisters - I didn't say anything about the fairness of the age groupings. This thread was started because someone was concerned (as I was) about mutterings that the criteria might be changing with little or no notice. Therefore, I thought that many would appreciate me passing on that this, apparently, does not appear to be the case.

     

  • MattyWelsh wrote (see)

    Blisters - I didn't say anything about the fairness of the age groupings. This thread was started because someone was concerned (as I was) about mutterings that the criteria might be changing with little or no notice. Therefore, I thought that many would appreciate me passing on that this, apparently, does not appear to be the case.

     

    Matty, that is useful info there, I`m sure there are many (including myself) that will appreciate you passing it on.

  • Ok just so I understand this would someone be able to clarify how this all works?

    I'm a 35 year old male, ran 3.13.50 on Sunday which obviously falls short of the sub 3.10 good for age category I'm in.

    On the VLM website it says for 2013 race that you needed to submit proof of a sub 3.10 marathon by 13th July 2012, I'm guessing the same will apply this year. Does this mean you still have to apply through the ballot next Monday or do you submit a separate entry?. I've been rejected four years on the bounce through ballot (ran through golden bond this year) and was really hoping to crack sub 3.10 but missed the boat. What is the chance of getting a good for age place if you have done the time? Is it 100% or 50/50? I guess I need to have another crack at a marathon before mid July really!
  • If you have the GFA time then you are guaranteed an entry (as long as you can prove it and fill in the correct forms)

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