Major Marathons

Can anyone tell me why are all the majors ballot only?

This makes it impossible fore people who are keen to do them all to actually do them! 

Has these events turned into money making bloody sucking events, and actually forgot about the main thing! which is running?

Comments

  • When demand gets above a certain level, a ballot is the only practical mechanism. 

     

  • Well I guess to be fair, if you were really desperate you could always see if you could beg, borrow and steal 2 grand from your colleagues ..... you'll get a guaranteed entry that way.

     

    I still think my suggestion of having to run a marathon within the last 12 months in order to be able to submit an application for the ballot would be a better idea. Proof required. It would weed out 90% of people, I guarantee you.

     

  • This is about runnning not about demands being high, if the demands are so high stop gving away so many charity places

  • Is Chicago a ballot? Saying that is it even a major?

  • People who are very keen to do them also have the option of training really hard to get a qualifying time.

  • Chicago will be ballot next year since their system crashed this year with high number  of registration, I agree with qualifying time but if VLM keep moving it then no matter how hard you try you will not get the time!

  • Is that confirmed anywhere? As in Chicago being a ballot?

  • I think that, conversely, the ballot system does  allow all those that are keen to do them. The normal thing when demand outstrips supply is to increase the price. Would you prefer if all the oiks were priced out?

    How much would you be willing to pay?

     

  • Alan Yan wrote (see)

    This is about runnning not about demands being high, if the demands are so high stop gving away so many charity places

    The problem is the London marathon was set up for the express purpose of fund raising, so actually it isnt all about running Im afraid ...... as is my understanding.

     

  • It was to promote running too - so that's why they have the elites and championship and good for age places in London.



    I'm in with a GFA for next year and I'm by no means a fast runner. If it means that much to you and you're prepared to spend ??1000s travelling the globe to run these races - training and getting the qualifying time shouldnt be too hard.
  • Mr A -- If you can maintain you current marathon pace into later life you should be able to make it in with a GFA by the time you are about 90 image

  • Yan. You don't like the ballot system. I hear that. So what system would you have in its place in order to make sure they remember the main thing, as you say, the running?

    What's the solution Yan?

  • 1.I think the number of chairty places should be reduced! freeing up some more places, 

    2. a bit more clarity would be nice, it doesnt take them 6 months draw people out of a hat!

    3. This is the system I would suggest, do it by seeds

    If you have done a marathon before then you should be in one pot and if you havent you should be in another pot (thats why there are charity spots). Obviously more places will be on offer for people who has done one before.

    Also If you are planning to move the GFA times, please give notice like BAA, dont move it after the event!

    Since London is a major marathon I think all the major should have common standard,  New York, GFA 2.45, Boston 3.05 (advance warning) London 3.10 2012, moved to 3.05 a week after 2013 marathon

  • literatin wrote (see)

    People who are very keen to do them also have the option of training really hard to get a qualifying time.


    Yes, but that is too much like hard work for some!

    I got rejected from London (as expected) and this year was my first attempt at the ballot. I've never run a marathon but my times for other distances in race prediction calculators seem to suggest that I am capable of doing around 3.30 to 3.40. I've never trained that hard or seriously for the races I have done and feel my PB's are someway from what I could be capable of. My GFA is only 3.15 so instead of whinging about how unfair a system is that I can't influence or change the plan is to actually train properly and hopefully next spring do a time that will get me in for 2015. I'm aware I might not, but really what have I got to lose in trying?

  • I am running Chicago this year. It was first come, first served and I took no chances and registered literally as soon as it opened. In the past it took a few days to fill up, but this year it went bonkers and they were overwhelmed by entries on the opening day (I think combined with a bit of a cockup by the people processing registrations) they had to suspend entries, and then do a lottery. Therefore I would imagine next year they'll resort to a ballot because demand is so high now. That's a shame because I liked that it was accessible like that. 

  • Whenever you have the internet and high demand and an open first come first served basis the system crashes and it's less fair than a ballot. I like Yan's suggestions but I'm not sure the organisers would go for it. For a start they would have to do a lot more work for selling the same amount of places. The system would be open for abuse by people running times in other peoples names to get a place. Such as the infamous Brighton marathon finisher(dubious) who got her male club mate to run a qualifying time in London.

  • I agree that there should be some advantage to having a "track record" of some type - perhaps make it an failry low "bar" to jump over- just require a finish in a half marathon before entry is allowed, except for a small number of specially- set aside charity places- the problem is that then they would raise as much money- but it IS supposed to be a running event, - can't the fund raising be done elsewhere?

    I think the GFA times need to be reasonably tough, but as a regualr marathoner, despite having all the advantages of being in my 40's and female, I just can't get my time down to that level, so I'd like to get some other recognition that I'm different to someone sitting on their sofa, watching it on TV, and thinking "that looks fun" , when they've no intention of actually trainig for it.

    Oh what the hell- I'd rather run smaller races anyway, why why do I even bother to worry about it?

  • I agree with Tricialitt that entry criteria are one of the fairer ways of rationing places in a race.  

    I think that the decision to increase the entry requirements of UTMB to seven points was fair and just, because any body who has a realistic chance of finishing UTMB can get seven points if they want a place badly enough. 

  • Alan the problem is your method rewards existing marathon runners, and part of the london thing is getting new people running. Be patient or failing that do what i've done and eat a stupid pill and sign up to run it for charity.

  • All down to opinion booktrunk. I'd like to see those type of people removed from the marathon. I think a lot of us get annoyed by the people who want to add "completing" a marathon to their bucketlist. No right or wrong but just opinions. 

  • One thing that should be considered is putting a time limit of say 6 or 7 hours on the London Marathon. 

    If a person is going to walk much of the route then should they really be taking up a place that could go to somebody who is going to invest the time and effort to train properly for the event?

  • booktrunk wrote (see)

    Alan the problem is your method rewards existing marathon runners, and part of the london thing is getting new people running. Be patient or failing that do what i've done and eat a stupid pill and sign up to run it for charity.

    I think this is where me and you will always fundamentally disagree.

    The London marathon wasnt designed to get new people into running, and nor should it be. I dont see why people who have invested time and effort into proper training can't get to run around one of the major world cities, yet people who just want to tick a box to say theyve 'run a marathon' get to do it.

    If people put time and effort into it, why shouldnt they jump further ahead in the queue than someone who was sitting on their backsides watching it on TV, then on a whim enter the race, do no training at all and then spend the whole race just walking the course. Sorry but I dont believe in this having to hand hold people all the time.

    What I would do is:

    a) Hold the ballot much later in the year, long after the race has finished so you dont get all the armchair warriors who are watching it on TV going 'Oh that looks like fun, I must do that next year.'

    b) As suggested by another poster on here, have two pots. 1 for if youve never run a marathon before and just want to try it. The other for those who have run a marathon in the last 12 months and can prove it (which in this day and age of things being up on the internet should be quite easy). So this pot would still be a ballot, but you would have more places open so genuine runners have a better chance.

    c) One of the reasons they claim they cant have more runners in the race is because they cant keep London closed for too long. Fair enough, but then introduce say a 6 hour time limit with a sweeping vehicle along. If you get caught by the vehicle you are out, no if's or buts. And i know people go 'Oh but what about the really old/overweight/lazy ....... well too bad ....... dont enter a marathon then ....... or if you fall into this category then enter a lesser known marathon that doesn't have this rule.

     

  • Sussex runner:



    It's why I did my first image



    I'm now 2 weeks from my 3rd and done 1 x 50m ultra, (with 3 marathons n 2 ultras planned for next year).
  • I see what you are saying anon but it only became a "great" marathon in the eyes of a lot of non runners because of the tales of the non runners struggling around image but as you say we are not going to agree. image
  • booktrunk wrote (see)
    I see what you are saying anon but it only became a "great" marathon in the eyes of a lot of non runners because of the tales of the non runners struggling around image but as you say we are not going to agree. image

    The bit I like about the London Marathon is watching it on TV and the presenter asks a random person 'So who are you running for?' and they go 'Well, errr no-one as I got in through the ballot.'

    I think the thought that someone may have entered a marathon without raising 2k at the same time hasnt occured to those in television land.

     

  • All I am trying to say is we should have a format where all the majors should co align, Understandable Boston, the goal for all marathoners, GFA is a must, other majors should have the same system as New York, where you have to run 9 races organised by New York Road Runners and Volunteer for 1, 

    This makes people who just wants to do a marathon think twice, also if you are going to run VLM those 9 runs is a good training tool!

    At the end of the day VLM has turned into a money making machine, I am not saying there shoudn't be charity places, but a large portion of places has now gone to charities and each charity ask for 2k for sponsorship! meaning this event is no longer a running event and 2k? how charitable is that?

  • I didnt get in london so I went for Edinburgh. Now its sorted im more than happy. So come ppl who have done Edinburgh tell me how fantastic it is plzzz

  • I think what is missing from this debate is the fact that there is a way for UK runners who are serious about training and racing but not able to get GFA or championship qualifying time, and that's through clubs. Obviously not everyone wants to be in a club, but lots of people are and it seems as good an indicator as you're likely to get of being involved in and serious about the sport. Most club places won't go to the faster runners either, because they can qualify for themselves.

  • Bugger, the edit function has vanished. Let's pretend my syntax in the first sentence  made sense.

  • I think a lot of people on here would approve of something along the lines of what Yan is suggesting. I just don't think it will ever happen. 

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