When should I apply for a charity place?

This is my first attempt to get into the London Marathon.
The ballot results don't come out till the 1st December.
I have just been reading the charity adverts in Runner's World December edition and a lot are suggesting people apply now.
Also a lot of the talk on the forums are about applying for charity places.

I thought I had to see if I got into the ballot, and then apply to the charities.

Do I apply, can I apply now, or do I wait till after the 1st December?

Can I have your advice please?



  • Has your cheque been cashed yet ? If not there is only a small chance you have a place and odds-on you have not.



    Many charities will let you sign up now, the deal being that you raise the target if you have a golden bond place, or whatever you can manage if not.
  • I applied in august

    get on with it
  • I bequethed my entry fee, so won't that be cashed anyway.

    I really want to run for St Ann's Hospice, and they told me to apply for one of their places if I did not get through the ballot.

    I would love to run for them, but would run for any charity rather than risk missing a place in the London Marathon.

    Running for a charity other than St Ann's would feel like prostituting myself, but I would do it to be in.

    OK, typing this is helping my thinking. So...

    Do I prostitute myself now, to ensure I get in?
    Or do I wait and remain faithful, and risk the chance of being out?

    So give me your answers... should I Prostitute, or Stay Faithful?

  • Damian
    "prostitute" uis a strong word
    if you fell like that, stick to rpinciples and do another marathon
    I assume st Anns doesnt do Gold Bond places
  • fi fifi fi ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the link Welsh Alex,i have just applied for a place.
  • fi fifi fi ✭✭✭
    Damien,couldn't you raise money for two charities?
    Anything over the expected ammount for the charity you run for can go to St.ann's hospice.Then everyone is happy:-)
  • Some good advice... esp two charities.
    St Ann's does have some gold bond places, but I can't apply till 1st December, and I don't know how many they have.

    I feel like I am getting left behind!

  • I applied for a gold bond place with Breast Cancer Care yesterday, assuming I hadn't made it in through the ballot. If by some miracle I have and I get a gold bond place I can always run for charity this year and defer my ballot place till next year - assuming once isn't enough! Only time will tell.......
  • Will you mention to your potential sponsors that you don't care about the charity you're raising money for, and that they're just buying a place in the marathon for you?
  • Swerve, I'd tell them anything to get in.
  • This is why I'd never go down the golden bond route - I couldn't ask people to give money to a charity I couldn't care less about just so I could run a race.

    If you want to raise money for a charity, any marathon will do. I raised £1,250 running the Cardiff marathon for a charity close to my heart. It's because it's a charity I care about that I could quite happily go and ask friends, family, colleagues and other forumites for money.

    Now, when someone asks me for sponsorship for FLM, I try and work out whether they could actually care less about the charity. If not, then they're not getting a penny from me and can make up the shortfall themselves.

    It may sound harsh, but that's how I feel about it.
  • Welsh Alex, thanks for the link - I emailed an application this morning and this afternoon I've been offered a Golden Bond place.

    I'm so excited!!

    Thanks again!
  • Golden Bond places?? How do I find out about those??
  • I took a golden bond place this year and was told that I could not raise money for a 2nd charity - had to sign a form agreeing to that, amongst other things.

    Beatty - click on the link to 'Crunch' in wlesh alex's post above.
  • Beatty, they're guaranteed entry places for the FLM - but the cost is that you pledge to raise a minimum amount of money for whichever charity you choose (and of course they choose you!) seems to range from £1100 upwards.......use the www.CRunCH.org.uk link in Welsh Alex's e-mail above (I'm computer illiterate and dont know how to give you the link myself!!)
  • Plodding Hippo, you're a bit RC aren't you? If they want to run and raise money for a charity/any charity good on 'em I say!
  • I dont think RC is a word to describe Hipps

    I dont think that to run for any charity that will give someone the place just to run London is personally the best reason behind it, but each to their own.
    I am with the others, if and when I get into London I may collect some charity money for a charity that is close to me BUT if there were a charity that meant that much to me then I could run any marathon and raise money for them.

  • SVT,

    I know what you are saying and agree with you in principal.

    The other side of the coin being 'my charity' is asking for £2.5k as it's a major one. I've done 2 big charity events for them, raising over £1k. However, I know I can't raise £2.5k but could raise some other the other figures quoted.

    So should I take a place knowing I can raise the cash or make up a shortfall of >£1k myself. If all charities said £x amount, then we could all run fopr the charity we want to :-)
  • wait and see if you get into the ballot and if you dont then raise the money doing an alternative marathon?
  • But Melody its London I want to do... have always wanted to do it since watching them run past my front garden, many years ago.

    Surely as long as the charity gets the money what does it matter if your "really" believe in it?

    I rang two charities today and one of them said as part of the application form I have to explain to them what it is about that charity that makes me want to run for them! :eek: They cant ask that?!?!?

    Gonna Make It... £1k is a hell of a lot to make up... I'd go for the lesser charity.

  • If RC means Roman Catholic-then , no i am not
    i just meant if damian felt that strongly about the issue-he should stick to his principles
    using emotive language as he did would sugggest he DOES feel strongly

    Damian-it doesnt really matter in one way-the money is going to one good cuase or another
    but it IS easier to convince people to give you money if you genuinely have a reason for supporting your charity

    I guess the charitites who ask that want to be sure you arent just "usingthem" to get into FLM.Alsdo, if you believe in them, you will likely make more money for them.So, if they have too many people apply for their places, then they will pick the people who they think are more likeyl to raise more money

    which is fair enough

    A grand is a lower amount for most gold bond places actually
    the big guns ask 2 grand
  • Damian, how is the training going?
  • GMI - in your place, I'd weigh up seriously whether I could raise the money for 'my' charity. I was amazed how easily I raised £1,250 without really trying too hard. I think the key was that I really believed in what I was doing and could give a real story to back it up.

    If you don't think you can raise the minimum but want to do something for the charity, do another race.

    Yes, I know lots of people want to do FLM (myself included), but there are so many other excellent marathons out there. And if you keep applying through the ballot , you will get into London.

    I'll see you all on the start line in 2011!
  • SVT,

    Can't raise that sort of money as I've already put upon my friends/work mates/relatives too much over the last few years.

    Done a couple of other marathons when not got in to flem (Paris and Disney) but don't really want to wait until 2010 till my automatic place kicks in, I'll be too old......

    Each to their own I suppose. Both SVT and Daminan make good cases.....
  • GMI
    too OLD??????????

  • ok, too old to do myself justice....
  • Well I've thought about this seriously and have just applied for golden bond place so fingers crossed. It is actually for a charity I believe very strongly in and have supported through my work for years so I feel okay about that.
  • Cinder's you are not supposed to ask me that question!

    If I could blush and look sheepish on a Forum Post, that's how I would look.

    Still not decided what to do charity wise!

    Toss a coin perhaps?

  • My hubby got a 'GB' place via Help the Aged (he figured it was an investment for the future!!) seriously, he felt it was a good cause having a dad of 92 he realised there were some elderly people who have no-one to look after them...ANYWAY they wanted £1400 minimum (and you had to say why you wanted to support them - applied on-line via their web-site) and to be honest, apart from people who knew my husband and his father it was quite hard to "convince" people that Help the Aged was a good charity, they seem to prefer to donate to 'my' charity (a hospice where my mother was cared for) all be it I had a ballot place and didn't need the 'support' so much. Consequently he had to 'donate' the remainder himself which was rather a large amount. (I had to withdraw just six weeks before and only 2 people still gave me the sponsorship!!) Also as another note, if you are weighing up about the 'conscience' thing and doing it for a charity you belive in, bear in mind this: the hospice I was 'running' for rang me at 9.00am the day after the marathon to "see how I'd done, as they couldn't see my finish time on the FLM results", after I told them I had to withdraw they just asked me if I was to run 2007 would I raise money for them then...it felt very much like a total business transaction and nothing like the feeling I thought it would be had I run and collected some money for them... just a thought thats all...
  • each year this argument rages..........

    if you want to run FLM for a charity do yourself and the charity a favour by choosing one close to your heart.........

    going for the cheapest is not the way it should be done IMHO............plus it's doing someone else out of a place who wants to run for them..............

    charity support should come from within - not a feeble excuse to be used to get a place...........

    just don't ask me for any money if you get a place on false pretences...........
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