Major Marathons

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26/09/2013 at 22:08

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?

26/09/2013 at 22:15

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


26/09/2013 at 22:22

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.


26/09/2013 at 22:23

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

26/09/2013 at 22:24

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

26/09/2013 at 22:24

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

26/09/2013 at 22:31

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!

26/09/2013 at 22:37

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

26/09/2013 at 22:43

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?


26/09/2013 at 23:18
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.


cougie    pirate
27/09/2013 at 00:57
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.
27/09/2013 at 01:40

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 

27/09/2013 at 09:17

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?

27/09/2013 at 09:54

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

27/09/2013 at 10:19
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?

27/09/2013 at 10:26

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. 

27/09/2013 at 12:36

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.

28/09/2013 at 13:01

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?

28/09/2013 at 13:42

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. 

28/09/2013 at 13:53

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.

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