VLM 2019

Have just tried to complete my ballot application for next year, came to the part “ethenticity” and was given choice British or Irish, I’m Cornish, a recognised race, so opted not to answer, bet that goes straight into the bin for not being completed fully!
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Comments

  • OuchOuchOuchOuch ✭✭✭
    That's is so  Cornish - and I live in Cornwall.  My brother, born in Wales, lived all of his life in Wales, for some reason answered Indian, not sure by mistake or intention. Anyways good luck!
  • dave wood 4dave wood 4 ✭✭✭
    Didn’t know where to post this so here will do lol. Last week small charities were complaining about costs of places, seems there’s 15,000 allocated to gold bond,550 to silver bond and another 500 offered with”additional packages”? These cost about £2000 each and small charities said too expensive, LM said they intended to offer another 500 over next “couple of years”. To me that means only approximately 24,000places for vgfa,gra overseas ballot,travel firms,sponsors,deferrals and lastly, ballot, no wonder it’s so bloody hard to get a place and why LM, won’t reveal the real numbers involved!
  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    pretty sure Gold Bond places don't cost the charities £2k each to buy -for a lot of them, that's the amount of sponsorship they ask for? I thought it was more like £200-£300? Think the issue is that these places are taken up permanently by the big charities and none come available for the smaller ones.

    The results this year showed that there were 47802 numbers allocated. So only about a third of places reserved for gold bond - seems reasonable?

  • Silver Bond places were £300 a few years back. They are probably more expensive now. 
    I can imagine that they sell 500 with additional packages for 2 grand but most charities wont be paying that kind of price - as Gladrags says the charity usually asks for 2 to 3k to be raised to make it worth their while.


  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    i know this is controversial but i wish the charities where NOT allocated places so that people could run for the charity of their choice rather than be held to ransom by these huge companies (some are not charities anymore). To me it seems that VLM has lost the fact it is a running race but has become a charity event first and a running event second. That is demonstrated by the form you present at the expo having your number and which charity you are running for and how much have you raised! Has anyone else felt the wrath of the staff when they say you have not completed this section and you say 'that's because i am not running for a charity'. It seems the race is run solely to say its the biggest charity event now. I know the charity support helps make the atmosphere on the day but I am sure they would be there regardless, supporting runners who are raising for them. This would also allow smaller local charities a chance of having runners in the field on their behalf. I have done all 6 majors and London is the only one where the charity element is rammed down your throat all the time, in fact Boston, Berlin and Tokyo i cannot remember any charity advertising at all yet people where still running for charities. I know it will never change as it makes good TV and advertising and i fear it will only get worse. I know many who would love to run it but the £2k is too daunting to raise. Not anti-charity - just anti-bully boy tactics of the big charities (companies). There i've said it - fire away :)
  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    Meh.

    Agree the bigger charities at London can be a bit oppressive when you're running. They do feel very 'corporate' but they are still charities however you look at it? If the charities are paying £300ish place then expecting a runner to aim for £2000 is not unreasonable. If you can't raise that, then there's GFA, club places or other marathons?

    Have run London 9 times. 6 times for charity (5 Gold Bond and once for a smaller charity) and 3 times just for myself. No volunteer has ever commented on it, let alone been angry?

    Final point is that the charity field - fancy dress and all - probably have a slower average time than the rest of the field. London does need some back runners otherwise it would be even more congested than it already is.

  • andyc209 said:
    i know this is controversial but i wish the charities where NOT allocated places so that people could run for the charity of their choice rather than be held to ransom by these huge companies (some are not charities anymore). To me it seems that VLM has lost the fact it is a running race but has become a charity event first and a running event second. That is demonstrated by the form you present at the expo having your number and which charity you are running for and how much have you raised! Has anyone else felt the wrath of the staff when they say you have not completed this section and you say 'that's because i am not running for a charity'. It seems the race is run solely to say its the biggest charity event now. I know the charity support helps make the atmosphere on the day but I am sure they would be there regardless, supporting runners who are raising for them. This would also allow smaller local charities a chance of having runners in the field on their behalf. I have done all 6 majors and London is the only one where the charity element is rammed down your throat all the time, in fact Boston, Berlin and Tokyo i cannot remember any charity advertising at all yet people where still running for charities. I know it will never change as it makes good TV and advertising and i fear it will only get worse. I know many who would love to run it but the £2k is too daunting to raise. Not anti-charity - just anti-bully boy tactics of the big charities (companies). There i've said it - fire away :)
    Nope - I've run London 16 times now - never for charity and never felt the 'wrath'.
    London still offers championship places, club places, good for age places. It clearly supports running. 

    Plenty of people manage to raise the £2k or whatever - and if they can't well there's lots of other marathons out there for them - or just keep entering the ballot. They'll get in eventually. 

    London is what it is.  If it was all serious runners then it wouldn't be half the spectacle or get half of the attention from the public. 
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Will agree with Cougie on this one. I’ve ran 7 times (never for charity) and never felt any ill feeling.
    Its the charity element which provides much of the atmosphere. If you want a non charity feel then there are hundreds of other races available.
  • I work for a charity who have golden bond places. I think the golden bond spaces are around £500ish. I know it seems like the charities ask for a lot in the way of sponsorship but it's not only the cost of the places we have to cover. We also need to purchase running shirts/vests, promotional materials, pay for post-marathon receptions...for a small charity like the one I work for, it can be quite costly. But despite these costs, the marathon is still one of our biggest fundraising events of the year and makes a huge difference to us. Although I do agree that maybe the gold and silver bond system should be rethought to give newer/smaller charities a chance at getting a place. But I think it's great that the London Marathon raises so much for charity, it makes it such a special day and the support from the charities is amazing. If you want to run a marathon and simply pay your entry and run there's loads of other less well known marathons out there, which is exactly what I'll be doing now I've had my chance to experience London!
  • andyc209andyc209 ✭✭✭
    not saying 'the wrath' running for a charity but there is deffo an element of that when NOT running for a charity. My main gripe is the larger charities seem to monopolise the places - places should be more accessible to smaller local charities as well or runners should be allowed to choose who they run for. One year i ran for a national charity with the support of the local branch and the local area received nothing from my efforts - it all went into the national coffers - probably half lost in admin fees. Most years i do get in on GFA (this was my 7th year) and i have run for local charities of my own back - just think that spreads the wealth to possibly more needy causes than these conglomerates 
  • Runners can run for whatever charity they want - so long as they're not using a place that another charity hs paid for. 
  • I applied for a ballot entry, but a friend of mine convinced me to raise money for charity, so I have a guaranteed charity place and am 1/2 way to my fundraising target.

    In the unlikely event that I also get my ballot entry, will I be able to defer my ballot entry to VLM 2020, but run the VLM 2019 under my charity place? Does anyone have experience with this please?

    I am aware that I can ask my charity to take back their place, and run under my ballot entry for my charity, but I'd like to run 2020 without the fundraising pressure if possible. I think I'll be hard pressed to raise £2K two years in a row.

    Maybe this is all wishful thinking, but the thought had crossed my mind and I can't find anything online about this. Thanks
  • davewooddavewood ✭✭✭
    PeteM77, IF you are extremely lucky to obtain a place through the lottery then you can defer it until 2020, you will have to pay for this years entry and also pay again for your 2020 entry but it’s perfectly legal, I’ve done it on a few occasions, good luck!
  • > @davewood said:
    > PeteM77, IF you are extremely lucky to obtain a place through the lottery then you can defer it until 2020, you will have to pay for this years entry and also pay again for your 2020 entry but it’s perfectly legal, I’ve done it on a few occasions, good luck!
    Thanks for the response!
  • Right, first test of the new GFA system. Submitted and verified, but now that doesn't mean you have a place. Got to wait a fortnight to find out. Grrrr.
  • Verified already? That was quick. I had a confirmation of receipt but not had a verification yet. It is going to be very galling to be turned down having never being successful in the ballot and finally getting a gfa time only for the rules to change. Expecting the worst with just 2 mins 30 secs to spare. Oh well, back to Madrid.
  • Update - verified also. System seems to work well, now just the wait! Good luck!
  • davewooddavewood ✭✭✭
    Silly me, not that I’d ever achieve GFA but I assumed,obviously wrongly, that if you achieved the qualifying time you were garaunteed a place
  • Davewood - you were absolutely right, right up until this year where they've changed it. Thye've made it much harder to achieve now - the times have dropped, it's the age you qualified (not your age on the day) and no guarantee - there's a limit on GFA applications, so if over-subscribed then the people who only just qualified will lose out (Boston has worked this way for years - running a "Boston-qualifier" time doesn't necessarily get you in). I thought the previous system was simple and fair, but apparently now we have to have exactly the same number of male and female runners, regardless of how well they qualify. So if loads of men apply, then lots of them will be turned down, despite perhaps having beat the time by some margin. If less women apply, then a greater proportion will be accepted. So a women could get a place having juts qualified and no more, but a man could be knocked back despite having bettered the time by more. Of course, it could also work the other way around, but the historical demographics when we actually had equality were that there were more men than women, despite the women having massively easier GFA targets in the first place. Don't want to sound bitter, but as a guy who has worked hard to achieve GFA by 10 minutes, then having this reduced to 5 minutes due to stricter targets (the women's targets haven't changed), it annoys me that there will almost certainly be many women who will get a place despite having a much easier target, and despite having beaten that target by a smaller margin than me.

    Still, this seems to be the new version of "equality", and it's their race, they can organise it how thy like. I just don't like blatant discrimination, especially when it's dressed up as the opposite.

  • Rant over. Hopefully my 5 minutes is enough to get me a place anyway.
  • davewooddavewood ✭✭✭
    rodeoflip, sorry to hear that, obviously common sense has been kicked out by the PC brigade, got to be equal even if we discriminate others! I noticed the same with the public ballot, so many questions, race,creed,sex,first time,etc. makes a joke about being “totally random” NOT,lol. Still,should be interesting if I get in, registered as 65 year old,female,from Mongolia,running my first ever Marathon in 71/2 hours,for charity,in fancy dress,think I covered all the bases,lol?
  • The problem with the London marathon is that it is so over-subscribed that they have to limit the numbers somehow. Everyone thinks the ballot system is unfair if they don't get in. Now the GFA system has been modified to effectively discriminate against men. But it is their race, and no matter what they do with entry options, they will still fill the start line. So there's not much point in complaining about it. 
  • > @rodeoflip said:
    > Now the GFA system has been modified to effectively discriminate against men.

    Oh come on guys. There are 3,000 places for men, 3,000 for women, right? how is that discriminating? You just have to 'good' in relation to the other men applying, and i have to be 'good' among the other women applying.
  • Christine5, it's discriminating because historically GFA has tended to consist mainly of guys, and so there is likely to be more competition for the male places.

    If the intention is not to discriminate, then why create the distinction, why not just have 6000 places and the 6000 who beat their respective GFA times by the biggest margin get entry? Wouldn't that be fairer? Remember that the GFA times for women are much easier to achieve in the first place, being at least 43 minutes slower. This despite the fact that the record for women is only about 10 minutes slower than the record for men.

    So women already have at least 43 minutes or more to play with, and pretty much guaranteed entry providing they beat this time, unlike the men. It remains to be seen how much men will have to beat the (more difficult) time by to actually get in.

    Does this seem like equality to you?

    I wonder when they'll introduce "non-gender-specific" times, and what these times will be?

  • yes, it does seem like equality. women get 3000 places, men get 3000 places.
    that's equal by definition.
  • > @Christine5 said:
    > yes, it does seem like equality. women get 3000 places, men get 3000 places.
    > that's equal by definition.

    No, equality is the male GFA being equal to the female GFA times. That's equality.
  • I wonder what will happen if they dont get 3000 women who meet the standard? I dont suppose they'll make those available to the men who have qualified.
  • davewooddavewood ✭✭✭
    If that was to happen they will probably reduce the number of GFA places for both sexes, that will give them more to offer to the charities, lol
  • I think you have to remember, greater participation by women is a relatively new thing- "At the first London Marathon back in 1981, fewer than 300 of the 6,300 finishers were women".
    It takes concerted efforts to increase the numbers of women in any sport.

    You wouldn't complain for instance that there are the same number of Olympic places for women as men, even though fewer women compete for places in many events.
    Or if you there were more applicants for one job than another.

    They had around 3,100 women with GFA last year (or so i read on this forum), so i don't think they will have fewer meeting the standard this year.

    Am also sitting waiting to see if i'll get a GFA place this year - i do agree with you Rodeoflip that achieving a sub 3.45 wasn't quite the epic feat of a male sub 3.
  • If there were 3100 last year then there is every chance they wont get 3000 this year. London is one of the biggest races for achieving gfa and the times this year were down significantly due to the heat, as was the case with several other big 'feeder' races. I'm clinging to the hope that the men's times will be similarly affected and the cut wont be quite as harsh as it may have otherwise been.
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