VLM 2014 place Secured!

After 5 years of trying to secure a ballot place in the VLM i finally bit the bullet and applied to a charity (VICTA) who have come back to me this morning confirming i have secured a place next year - So happy!! Has anyone else got in for 2014 yet?


  • Yarp, via GFA. First marathon that isn't my local. Nervous already!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Yep got my GFA spot a few weeks ago.

    I find the training hard enough, without the added work of having to raise the minimum charity amounts.
  • Well done for taking on both challenges. I'm holding out for a place in the ballot. £2000 seems like an awful lot of money to have to raise. I saw a friend do it for this year's VLM it took up a enormous amount of her weekend time

  • £2000?????

  • Yeah, but most corporates have matching schemes etc, so a £2k fundraise technically only needs £1,000.  Then take gift-aid off that and you're talking £750...ish.  I also secured a charity place this year; £1,650 is my commitment and I'm not worried by that amount at all; more worried by those winter miles...!!! Happy training all!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I always thought that most targets don't include Gift Aid as part of the total.

    You must be lucky with your company as mine doesn't do the matching scheme.
  • I had my charity place confirmed last week. The £2000 doesn't worry me nearly as much as running a marathon. It's my first one. I'm terrified and excited all in the same breath. Just need to get the Great North Run out of the way first! 

  • good luck to you all, I ran for charity once and it was harder collecting the money than training, never again, millsy, you are right, the target amount doesn't include gift aid,that is a bonus

  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    The charity normally states that the target excludes gift aid? And surely it's only rich bankers who can expect their company to match their fundraising these days?

    I've ocmmitted to £2000 but it's a charity that means a lot to me and my family and with some effort, between us all we can manage that.

  • Got call this am, place with Save the Children. Did it last year with Marie Curie, raising money not that hard, just have to shoot far & wide. Other options bag packing busy supermarket on w'end or 4-5 buckets outside big concert

  • Dragon in London - it's worth double checking your company's scheme as most companies (mine included) will only match money donated to you by other employees in the same company, so your are OK providing you have generous colleagues.

  • Hi, I have been entering the VLM Ballot in the hope of getting a place! The ballot places are announced in October which is a heck of a wait after the ballot closed back in April.

    The wait is very frustrating and affects me being able to schedule other events for next year, does anyone know why there is such a delay before ballot places are announced?

  • There is a delay as they have to get all the entries in for deffered places, and good for age. Once they know how many of these there are they can then work out how many ballot places to allocate.

    I think 6 months should be plenty of notice.
  • 6 months notice is more than enough notice to make plans for next year if you don;t get in.

  • @millsy1977,  thanks for clarifying this.  @2wheels, I disagree with you; I have other half marathons and iornman's that I am interested in doing next year, some of which involve substantial travel and they are all up in the air whilst I wait for the VLM ballot to be announced.

  • I've just posted on another thread - Brighton is a better bet if you want a charity place at a large atmospheric marathon as the charities want much less money.  The match-funding is good but I've never worked anywhere where they'd give you as much as £1000, one time I got £200 and the other £250 if you need to raise £2k you've still got a long way to go.  Whereas if you need to raise £500 for Brighton, it's a lot easier.

  • I didn't get a ballot place but got a charity place with Scope, for whom I've pledged to raise £1800. No match funding so it'll all be down to my fundraising efforts. The way I'm looking at it is that I only need to persuade 360 people to donate £5 each. Given that some people (thanks Mum & Dad) will give a lot more, I think that's achievable in six months.

  • Nelly, everyone always thinks that at the start ............ why do you think that about a month before the start of the Marathon, this forum is spammed by all the charities trying to give away places with a much lower threshold because all the people who signed up thinking 'Sure I'l be able to raise 2k' suddenly realise that they dont actually know 360 people ........ and if youre talking about work, remember that:

    a) You may not be the only one at your work place with the begging bowl out.

    b) Unless you personally know each of the people in your workplace, you might struggle to get them all to donate. If I saw a random email at my workplace asking for a tenner for them to run in a marathon, I would just ignore it to be honest. Sorry, but clearly Im not the only one otherwise everyone would just sign up through charity places if it was that easy.



  • My point is that raising thousands like the thought of running 26.2 miles is daunting but runners don't do a marathon without breaking it down into smaller chunks when training. That's how you should treat fundraising - how can I pusuade x many people to give me x amount of money this month. You also need to look beyond straightforward sponsorship because as you say people who don't know you probably won't give ??5 just because you ask. In my experience though they will if you give them something in return. There's a serious cake addiction in my office so I'm starting by feeding the sugar addicts. If you are fundraising & don't know how to start google a-z of fundraising ideas. There's usually a few most people would be happy to give a go.
  • I'd appreciate some advice from runners who've done mass participation marathons like London previously.  Is it worth weaving to overtake adding mileage on to try and get further ahead?  I'm looking for sub 4 hours, and despite being in the correct pen (admittedly at the back) the traffic never cleared, so I ended up doing 11 min miles at the beginning.   Other than get as far to the front of the pen as you can anyone got advice to share on maximising opportunity of hitting your goal in London?   I got in via the ballot, so does it depend which start?  I'm guessing squeezing 35000 runners into those narrow roads it's always going to be busy if you're not in the elite but any advice appreciated.  It's tough doing all your long runs at a pace and not being able to do that pace on race day.

  • Mike White - You get the blue start if you're in the ballot, which is smaller than the red (charity) start but bigger than green.  Get to the front of the pen but I think it will be very crowded anyway.  I am not a sub 4-hour runner but still don't think I would like the idea of using up miles/energy early on by weaving in and out. Think best bet would be to find a pacing group and stick with them, hug the pacer as people tend to drift to the side when a big group coming at a consistent pace comes through.  I did this and as we were all going at the same pace it was a nice way to go.  (Except in my case I was too optimistic with my finishing time and by half way I could not keep up any longer and was dropped!!).

    It thins out a lot more later on so just enjoy the first few miles and take in the atmosphere, although Canary Wharf was very busy again as spectators hog the road and make a narrow gap for the runners!!

    I just got a charity place, 2nd time running VLM image  Due to charities struggling to fill places over Christmas a few have dropped their pledge amounts making a charity place more realistic.  Only thing is I must now forego a holiday (and drinks, and new clothes, and really anything else and live on bread and water!) as I cannot be asking people to sponsor me again (having asked 3 years running!) so will probably have to pay it all myself....O_o

  • I started off fast this year trying to get space.  Found the blue line after about a mile or so and hugged it for the rest of the race.  Downside was that it meant I started too fast and was difficult to get back down to an easier pace until it was too late.

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