VLM - 12th rejection today in 12 ballot entries...

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Comments

  • Sarah 99 wrote (see)

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

    Both me and my wife were successful in the ballot and neither of us donated our fee.

    I am at a loss to try and work out how they do the selection. I have been rejected 3 times before this. It was the first time she has entered the ballot.

  • Tarantula - thanks for the maths!
    Can't remember the bequeath box anymore, I thought you just paid on acceptance?
    Still in the old days when you sent a cheque, I got in once despite not bequeathing.

    For the record: 21 years, 20 applications, 4 acceptances, plus one more on the old "5 rejects and you're in" scheme & 1 deferral. It was a 'no' this year.

  • It was a no for me...........thank goodness!!  Entered the ballot when I was fit and not poorly so had I got a place I'd have had to defer it to the following year, assuming by then I'd be running again!! 

    Do you think the smurf dood on the front page of the magazine got in again, as a payoff for using his picture?!?!? image

  • I didn't get in but had already entered the Kent Marathon when entires opened on the 1st June -

  • My record is 

    Rejected-got club place

    In through ballot

    GFA

    GFA

    GFA

    Rejected

    5 times in out of 6 is not bad. 

  • Nine consecutive no's so I am but a beginner at the art of not doing it! LOL! I am convinced you only got the guaranteed place after five if you complained about it, otherwise, tough. I CBA.

  • Grendel3 wrote (see)

    I didn't get in but had already entered the Kent Marathon when entires opened on the 1st June -

    Is that the Gravesend Cyclopark marathon Grendel? I considered that but don't fancy 17 laps much - but people who've done it seem to like it.

  • All this talk of probability reminds me of an article I saw recently about the Monty Hall problem. Hard to get your head round, but once you do it's an interesting answer.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24045598

  • andy x wrote (see)

    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.


    The actual statistics are never made public, but the most reasonable "best guess" I've seen is that out of a total of about 45,000 there's 20,000 ballot places, 12,500 charity places, and the rest for last year's dropouts, five-strikes, overseas entrants, championships, gfas,etc.  The ballot closed at 125,000 so the chances of success is approx 1 in 6. 

    Unfortunately statistics count for nothing in the computer age because it is generally accepted that the organisers "shape" the ballot to give the distribution of finishing times they want.  The optimum time to put on your application been debated on these forums for years, with no satisfactory conclusion.  However I'd bet that they want the majority to finish around 4-5 hours while the live TV coverage is still on.  They don't want a huge number of over-60's (my category) coming in at 7+ hours while they're trying to wind down their operation in the Mall!

  • Thanks Stephen, that's really interesting.

    I wish VLM did release the stats.

    I assume the reason for the long delay between entering the ballot and getting the result is that they need to get GFA applications in and deferral places and charity entries etc, so they know how many places they have to allocate.  In contrast, the Great North Run announce the results a few days after the ballot closes for entries.

    I'd be interested to know what the evidence is for the shaping you describe?  Phrases like "it is generally accepted" (in the passive voice) alway make me question the received wisdom.

    For obvious reasons I think it would be far fairer to shape the outcomes to favour those who have entered unsuccessfully a number of times (like the OP).  One simple and transparent way I've seen suggested would be "multiple entries" for those who have entered multiple times.  If it's your second year you get two chances of winning, or twice as much probability of winning as a first timer, and so on.  It resets if you miss a year or get a place.  I realise they can't honour the five year rule any more, but this would help make things fairer.

    Incidentally, it turns out I got a place this year!  My second year of trying (and bequeathing, although there was no mention of whether I got my place from the raffle or not).  A lot of friends were disappointed, so I know I'm exceedingly fortunate and I'm also very chuffed image, if a little apprehensive!

  • I do love the annual "the ballot needs to be fairer" comments/threads usually with the answers;

    It's their race

    There are other marathons

    Golden bond places are a con

    Run faster and get GFA or Championship

     

    Marvellous

     

  • Was guaranteed entry this year as I was on the 5 rections rule, but it was still nice to see the Your Are In Mag on the doorstep last night.

  • Sarah 99 wrote (see)

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


    *puts hand up* ... the cynic in me thinks that you'd have less chance if you pay up front, so I don't. Nevertheless, I was rejected 4 years on the trot. But I got in this time!

  • A friend of mine got in on her first-ever attempt and she did get in on the "bequeathed entry fee" ballot.  I didn't donate and I didn't get in.  But I'm sure the only advantage of bequeathing is that you get a shot at the extra 1000 places.

  • Stephen R wrote (see)
    andy x wrote (see)
    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.


    The actual statistics are never made public, but the most reasonable "best guess" I've seen is that out of a total of about 45,000 there's 20,000 ballot places, 12,500 charity places, and the rest for last year's dropouts, five-strikes, overseas entrants, championships, gfas,etc.  The ballot closed at 125,000 so the chances of success is approx 1 in 6. 

    Unfortunately statistics count for nothing in the computer age because it is generally accepted that the organisers "shape" the ballot to give the distribution of finishing times they want.  The optimum time to put on your application been debated on these forums for years, with no satisfactory conclusion.  However I'd bet that they want the majority to finish around 4-5 hours while the live TV coverage is still on.  They don't want a huge number of over-60's (my category) coming in at 7+ hours while they're trying to wind down their operation in the Mall!

    I think you might find a large number of older runners will still finish in a good time.  I will be over 60 but still hope to push close to 3.30, and there will be a lot of over 60s faster than that.

    In general I think it is the first time and real fun runners who occupy those later slots.

  • I mean no disrespect to the over 60s - I am one myself!  Maybe I should have said "slower runners".

    By referring to "shaping" I meant the ballot is not like putting all the entries into one giant hat and picking out the first 20,000.  The predicted times you give do make a difference.  If you've got a couple of hours to spare you might like to read this thread from 2011

    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/forum/general-running/london-marathonballot-or-hand-picked/176538.html

    In it a very intereresting guy called Squeakz gives an insight into the selection process.  He was involved in the setup of the systems, but not the ballot itself.  It's only a couple of pages, but unless you know computer-ese it will take you several hours to understand it.  Good luck!

  • I didnt donate and still got in. 

    I think it's my 7th application, I missed out on the 5 and in rule because I was away the 5th year and had no access to the internet, muppett!!

    Anyway Brighton 1 week and a nice jog round London the next, sweet! 

  • I made my first serious application this year. Second application overall, but my first was in about 2004 when I was living in London and had never done any real running before (other than being forced to at school) so at the time, I did celebrate my rejection magazine. I'm glad I didn't get in then, because it might have put me off running for life. I didn't actually get running until a few years later when I did the Birstol Half, a far more realistic first event.

    Anyway, I got in this year, although I really didn't expect to. I did bequeath my fee and I would have put around about 4 hrs as my expected finishing time.

    I don't think you can complain too much if you've already run it once. If you'd applied twelve times on the spin and never got in, you'd have a fair grumble, but I think it is fair that they weight it towards those that have never run it before (if indeed that is what they do).

    I imagine it's an event I'd only do once as surely the second time could never live up to the first. I'll be raising money for charity on this occasion and wouldn't want to do so again for any future marathon distance events. I have already run a marathon, quite recently (not for charity) although I will be keeping this relatively hush hush when fundraising!

    Anyone know what the justification was for getting rid of the five year rule? That seems quite a fair way of doing things.

  • I was accepted 3 years in a row (2008-2010) - think I used all my acceptances up in one go!

     

  • There is no way Im bequeathing anything. Thats tantamount to blackmail in my opinion because the clear implication is (and Im sure its deliberate) that if you donate, you have a better chance in the ballot.

     

  • Mr A: you don't have a better chance - and nobody pretends you do. That's made quite clear. Although you do have a chance (very slight) of getting one of the 1000 extra places.

    The one year I did get in I didn't bequeath.

  • As long as its made clear .......... to be honest I was just throwing the comment out there, because I couldnt remember that far back as to whether the form had made it clear or not ......... I would check to see how clear it was, but I cant be a..sed

    Anyways Im not interested in doing marathons anyway so not sure why Im getting involvedimage

     

  • Do they weight it towards people that haven't run it before MattDA?

  • john riley 3 wrote (see)

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

    Brighton beyond a shadow of a doubt

  • Dr.Dan wrote (see)
    Sarah 99 wrote (see)
    Has anyone found out they have got in and they did not bequeth their money?


    *puts hand up* ... the cynic in me thinks that you'd have less chance if you pay up front, so I don't. Nevertheless, I was rejected 4 years on the trot. But I got in this time!

    I totally agree with this. If I bequeath and you don't, if they let me in and not you, they only get one fee. If they let you in and not me, they get my bequeathed fee and your fee too. 

  • MattDA, I think they got rid of the 5-year thing because so many people were taking up places via that, there were too few left for ballot places.

    I guess it was also a lot of work checking whether the claims were valid, what with changes of address, etc.

    They just don't need the hassle, and I don't think they care about "fairness" or giving priority to people who've not done it before.  

    They have a hugely successful event.  They don't need to work hard to help people get places - that costs money.

  • Cinders wrote (see)

    Do they weight it towards people that haven't run it before MattDA?

    Probably not. They ought to, but as wilkie says above, it's unlikely they bother. They do take 5-6 months to let you know if you're in though, so they must be doing something in that time!

  • Just came online and read some of the rejections people are having and feeling a bit gutted for them - especially as some of the posts on here wanted to do this race as bad as me. Also feel annoyed for those who missed out as they removed the 5 rejections and in rule.

    I got in - first time applicant.

    I only want to do one marathon and this is my home marathon. I was not expecting to get in - so much so I already registered for the Brighton Marathon and even paid the extra for the medal engraving (positive thinking?) - that's £70 wasted unless I defer the VLM place for a year.

    Still can't believe it. Sorry for all those who missed out.

  • ooh, ooh, me Sir, me Sir!!!

    My record so far is 16 rejections. I was accepted just once (on the old "5 rejections in a row and we will be grudgingly forced to let you in" rule).

    No they weren't all consecutive and yes, i know that there are other marathons but it is good fun entering now purely to force them to send me a "Sorry, you didnt get in" rejection magazine.

    And yes, i realise that the ballot isn't random which obviously means that (with average luck) I am doing something very wrong every year! I have actually just emailed the organisers to see if they will let me in on what that is.....!

    Good luck to all those who did get a place - it's a great day (I have ended up running for charities on 7 or 8 occasions but "running 26.2 miles" doesn't exactly entice people to sponsor you nowadays unless you are carrying an elephant, swimming to France immediately afterwards or playing the trumpet on the way round)

     

     

  • I am delighted to read Danny Russell's post (can't quote for some reason), although for purely selfish reasons and I'm sorry, Danny, that you were rejected again. However, it's given me hope and something new to aim for!  

    If you ever get an answer from the organisers I would love to know what they say!  

    Yes, there are other marathons and yes, I have run it once before, but I still dream of the day the "You're In" magazine falls on my doorstep via my ballot entry.  If anyone is interested, I bequeathed my fee the first 8 times, then alternate years to see if that would help, but alas it hasn't.  

    Good luck to all those who got a place and good luck to those who continue to dream......

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