they must have had gaps in the ballot places...........this was the very last year for anyone to get the 5 rejections and an automatic place...........

You're right Screamapillar, but they weren't consecutive rejections.

2000-2004 inclusive - reject!

2005 I got in under the 5 times rejection rule (and ran it)

2006-2010 inclusive - reject!

2011 - again in under the 5 times rejection rule (having a baby then ruled me out of running so I deferred entry until 2012 - plantar facitis struck so I couldn't run)

2013-2014 inclusive - REJECT!

Some years I've donated my entry fee, some years I haven't. Nothing seems to make a difference, I just never get picked out of the ballot. I was curious whether anyone else had such a run of bad luck. At some point, statistically, surely I should get lucky??

Lady PB........I first enetered for 2006 and haven't been successful once..just ran it twice ....once through a running club place..and once through the 5 rejection rule............

I did get picked a different year for my running club place but put my name back as my hubby got the other place and we both couldn't run.........so neither of us have ever got a ballot place......

Not sure how this has worked - if Stephen R has had 10 rejections on the spin he would certainly have qualified with the automatic place.

You're quite right Grendel. The last time I won a ballot place was for the 2003 race. Got rejected 2004-8 so that earned me a five-strikes-and-you're-in place for 2009. Have now got rejections for 2010-4, which would have got me a 5-strikes place for 2015 had the scheme not finished with the 2014 event! Most annoying.

I got 2 You're in magazines today. I originally applied for a ballot place and then realised because I hit a significant birthday after Xmas I could apply for GFA, so did, and just forgot to cancel the ballot.

I have cancelled it today so there is another place going back in the bag.

Have no doubt I will not get in, but having run it 7 times and dropped out at half way once I suppose I am priviliged to have run it as many times as I have - last run it in 1998 - haven't tried many times since then to get a place - so I only really entered this year on spec - I have already got an entry for the Kent marathon although may abandon it for the Halstead marathon instead - my only goal is to plod round and enjoy it with my only target to finish within 2 hours of my PB.

It's my 5th rejection in a row. I am pretty sure that th '5' in a row limit finished last year, so if you hadn't clocked up 5 by then it doesn't matter how many more you get now, you won't automatically get in. Pretty sure that's the case - If I had applied a year earlier then I would have been able to get in on the 5 rejection scheme.

Mind you, having experienced this so often and with what I believe to be 'only one marathon in me' and my age, I entered Brighton earlier in the year as back up. Looks like I'll never get to do London, but will at least have Brighton to my name.

Yep its called the Monte Carlo fallacy or something Sussex Runner NLR . As the previous 12 have already happened it doesn't affect at all your chances next year

Boring probability lesson, while I wait to go home and check todays post.*

Lets imagine the odds for each entry are 1 in 5 (as is commonly suggested).

On your first entry the calculation is simple.

1 in 5 = 0.2 or a 20% chance.

On your second entry you don't add your "20%"s together to give 40% (because that would guarantee a place after 5 entries which is wrong). And you don't multiply the 0.2 values (because that would lower the probability which is wrong). We multiply probabilities when we want the probability of x and y happening. 0.2 * 0.2 gives the probability of getting a place in year 1 and in year 2 (4%). Instead you can think about it like this. What are the odds of notgetting a place in year 1 andnotgetting a place in year 2? 4/5 * 4/5 = 16/25 = 64% . So the odds of getting a place at least once in either of the two years of entry are the opposite of that, 36% (because the probability of getting a place plus not getting a place has to add up to 100%).

So after 1 entry your chance of getting a place is: 1-(4/5)=0.2=20%

After 2 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5)=36%

After 3 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5*4/5)=49%

4 entries: 59%

5 entries: 67%

6 entries: 74%

7 entries: 79%

8 entries: 83%

9 entries: 87%

10 entries: 89%

So (again, assuming it is about 1 in 5 each time) after 10 entries, the chance that you were successful at least once is 89%. After 12 entries you had a 93% chance of being successful at least once, or a 7% chance of STILL not getting a place, about 1 in 15.

But of course you're never guaranteed a place even after 100 entries. And, perhaps confusingly, even after 9 fails (or 99 fails), the chance on the 10th time (or the 100th time) is still 1 in 5 or 20% (like Sussex Runner NLR says). The unlikely thing has already happened by then (as Keith says).

* although I bequeathed so I'll probably have to wait a bit longer...

have been lucky I suppose and have done it 4 times in 5 years. The first time was brilliant but after the first its not the same. I have done Jersey twice Brighton Loch Ness and am doing Berlin next year and booked up already. Hope you all get in eventually but I enjoyed the other marathons as much and dare I say more?

Boring probability lesson, while I wait to go home and check todays post.*

Lets imagine the odds for each entry are 1 in 5 (as is commonly suggested).

On your first entry the calculation is simple.

1 in 5 = 0.2 or a 20% chance.

On your second entry you don't add your "20%"s together to give 40% (because that would guarantee a place after 5 entries which is wrong). And you don't multiply the 0.2 values (because that would lower the probability which is wrong). We multiply probabilities when we want the probability of x and y happening. 0.2 * 0.2 gives the probability of getting a place in year 1 and in year 2 (4%). Instead you can think about it like this. What are the odds of notgetting a place in year 1 andnotgetting a place in year 2? 4/5 * 4/5 = 16/25 = 64% . So the odds of getting a place at least once in either of the two years of entry are the opposite of that, 36% (because the probability of getting a place plus not getting a place has to add up to 100%).

So after 1 entry your chance of getting a place is: 1-(4/5)=0.2=20%

After 2 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5)=36%

After 3 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5*4/5)=49%

4 entries: 59%

5 entries: 67%

6 entries: 74%

7 entries: 79%

8 entries: 83%

9 entries: 87%

10 entries: 89%

So (again, assuming it is about 1 in 5 each time) after 10 entries, the chance that you were successful at least once is 89%. After 12 entries you had a 93% chance of being successful at least once, or a 7% chance of STILL not getting a place, about 1 in 15.

But of course you're never guaranteed a place even after 100 entries. And, perhaps confusingly, even after 9 fails (or 99 fails), the chance on the 10th time (or the 100th time) is still 1 in 5 or 20% (like Sussex Runner NLR says). The unlikely thing has already happened by then (as Keith says).

* although I bequeathed so I'll probably have to wait a bit longer...

I love this!

Congratulations to all who have managed to get a place. I'll apply again next year and cross my fingers and hope! So see you next year with my 13th rejection!!

I got my 5th rejection in a row yesterday, I last ran it in 1994 & really fancied another crack at it but unless I can get a club place (a possibilty) I won't be doing it again, I'll find another one. I really don't believe it's 1 in 4 chance of getting in, the ballot stopped at 160,000, they accept close to 40,000. This figure doesn't include all of the thousands of charity places, I would love to know what the real chances of getting in via the ballot are.

## Comments

My last 10 have been rejections, so you've beaten me!

Count yourself luck you don't have to run a marathon!

I'm sure the FLM/VLM only stopped the 5 rejections = automatic place about 3 years ago so how can either of you have so many consecutive rejections?

they must have had gaps in the ballot places...........this was the very last year for anyone to get the 5 rejections and an automatic place...........

I have 3 rejection magazines delivered today.........anyone got a higher stack

Not sure how this has worked - if Stephen R has had 10 rejections on the spin he would certainly have qualified with the automatic place.

You're right Screamapillar, but they weren't consecutive rejections.

2000-2004 inclusive - reject!

2005 I got in under the 5 times rejection rule (and ran it)

2006-2010 inclusive - reject!

2011 - again in under the 5 times rejection rule (having a baby then ruled me out of running so I deferred entry until 2012 - plantar facitis struck so I couldn't run)

2013-2014 inclusive - REJECT!

Some years I've donated my entry fee, some years I haven't. Nothing seems to make a difference, I just never get picked out of the ballot. I was curious whether anyone else had such a run of bad luck. At some point, statistically, surely I should get lucky??

I like your thinking!!

My first received today! So if I get 5 rejections in a row, I should still make it before my official retirement age.

I've entered the ballot for the first time this year, and I have a good feeling about it...

However, even if I get in, I can't do it anyway, as I have another event planned.

Lady PB........I first enetered for 2006 and haven't been successful once..just ran it twice ....once through a running club place..and once through the 5 rejection rule............

I did get picked a different year for my running club place but put my name back as my hubby got the other place and we both couldn't run.........so neither of us have ever got a ballot place......

I know people who celebrate like mad every time they get a London Marathon rejection magazine.

I got 2 You're in magazines today. I originally applied for a ballot place and then realised because I hit a significant birthday after Xmas I could apply for GFA, so did, and just forgot to cancel the ballot.

I have cancelled it today so there is another place going back in the bag.

Perhaps a streak of luck about to begin

Has anyone found out they have got in and they did not bequeth their money?

Hmmm wonder if our magazines will have arrived today...............?!?!?!?

Have no doubt I will not get in, but having run it 7 times and dropped out at half way once I suppose I am priviliged to have run it as many times as I have - last run it in 1998 - haven't tried many times since then to get a place - so I only really entered this year on spec - I have already got an entry for the Kent marathon although may abandon it for the Halstead marathon instead - my only goal is to plod round and enjoy it with my only target to finish within 2 hours of my PB.

Clive, they stopped the count on the five rejection thing a couple of years ago.

It's only available for people who were nearly there when they stopped it.

what a surprise I am not in now to look for a marathon any ideals

It's my 5th rejection in a row. I am pretty sure that th '5' in a row limit finished last year, so if you hadn't clocked up 5 by then it doesn't matter how many more you get now, you won't automatically get in. Pretty sure that's the case - If I had applied a year earlier then I would have been able to get in on the 5 rejection scheme.

Mind you, having experienced this so often and with what I believe to be 'only one marathon in me' and my age, I entered Brighton earlier in the year as back up. Looks like I'll never get to do London, but will at least have Brighton to my name.

It's a bit like throwing a dice 12 times and never rolling a 6. Quite feasible. You next "throw" will still be 1 chance in 6

Yep its called the Monte Carlo fallacy or something Sussex Runner NLR . As the previous 12 have already happened it doesn't affect at all your chances next year

Boring probability lesson, while I wait to go home and check todays post.*

Lets imagine the odds for each entry are 1 in 5 (as is commonly suggested).

On your first entry the calculation is simple.

1 in 5 = 0.2 or a 20% chance.

On your second entry you don't add your "20%"s together to give 40% (because that would guarantee a place after 5 entries which is wrong). And you don't multiply the 0.2 values (because that would lower the probability which is wrong). We multiply probabilities when we want the probability of x

y happening. 0.2 * 0.2 gives the probability of getting a place in year 1andin year 2 (4%). Instead you can think about it like this. What are the odds ofandgetting a place in year 1notgetting a place in year 2? 4/5 * 4/5 = 16/25 = 64% . So the odds of getting a place at least once in either of the two years of entry are the opposite of that, 36% (because the probability of getting a place plus not getting a place has to add up to 100%).andnotSo after 1 entry your chance of getting a place is: 1-(4/5)=0.2=20%

After 2 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5)=36%

After 3 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5*4/5)=49%

4 entries: 59%

5 entries: 67%

6 entries: 74%

7 entries: 79%

8 entries: 83%

9 entries: 87%

10 entries: 89%

So (again, assuming it is about 1 in 5 each time) after 10 entries, the chance that you were successful at least once is 89%. After 12 entries you had a 93% chance of being successful at least once, or a 7% chance of STILL not getting a place, about 1 in 15.

But of course you're never guaranteed a place even after 100 entries. And, perhaps confusingly, even after 9 fails (or 99 fails), the chance on the 10th time (or the 100th time) is still 1 in 5 or 20% (like Sussex Runner NLR says). The unlikely thing has already happened by then (as Keith says).

* although I bequeathed so I'll probably have to wait a bit longer...

Apologies to anyone who is already intimate with stats or for any mistakes in th above.

and the chances are way less than 1 in 5........i think its probably less than 1 in 10

have been lucky I suppose and have done it 4 times in 5 years. The first time was brilliant but after the first its not the same. I have done Jersey twice Brighton Loch Ness and am doing Berlin next year and booked up already. Hope you all get in eventually but I enjoyed the other marathons as much and dare I say more?

I love this!

Congratulations to all who have managed to get a place. I'll apply again next year and cross my fingers and hope! So see you next year with my 13th rejection!!

I got my 5th rejection in a row yesterday, I last ran it in 1994 & really fancied another crack at it but unless I can get a club place (a possibilty) I won't be doing it again, I'll find another one. I really don't believe it's 1 in 4 chance of getting in, the ballot stopped at 160,000, they accept close to 40,000. This figure doesn't include all of the thousands of charity places, I would love to know what the real chances of getting in via the ballot are.