London Marathon Ballot system is a joke.

61 to 80 of 203 messages
LIVERBIRD    pirate
02/10/2012 at 10:28

*Hands sponsorship form over to Wilkie and smiles sweetly*

Only joking - as if I'd be mad enough to take a charity place.

02/10/2012 at 10:34

If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club or does the runner have to be affiliated?

Thanks, Shaun

02/10/2012 at 10:34

I would imagine the current method is to attract a diverse mixture of runners, with different motives.

a) GFA and faster - competitive athletic runners - women's places are deliberately made disproportionately easier to encourage women to take part since the vast majority of runners are men - particularly amongst the faster runners.

b) Club places - better odds for keen "establishment" runners (ie club runners) who aren't so fast.

c) Charity places - less keen runners who want to do it for a charitable cause, maybe as a one-off challenge.

d) Ballot - everyone else.

The one thing that could be made fairer is to improve the odds of someone who has applied previously and failed to get a place in the ballot. A lucky s0d who won a ballot place every year for the last three years still has the same chance this year as someone who has never won, and that doesn't seem right.  Some people could enter every ballot for years and never get a place.  So what to do about it?

The "x" strikes and you get a guaranteed place is no longer sustainable, because too many people were getting guaranteed places.  The allocation software could swing the odds in favour of people who had applied unsuccessfully previously, but that's not very transparent.  I like Ron247's idea that previous consecutive unsuccessful applications means you can get multiple ballot chances.

Logistically this would be more work, and no-one argues that your odds of winning the lottery should improve with the number of times you enter in a row, but the London Marathon is something different.  Some people only want or get a chance to do it once in a lifetime, and it's nice to try and be fairer with the places.

 

02/10/2012 at 11:08

There is another way in.....

set up a charity and get a golden bond at cost price 

 

cougie    pirate
02/10/2012 at 11:18
There's a waiting list for charities I think ?
02/10/2012 at 11:36

I like the thinking outside the box Tenjiso!  Of course setting up a charity is hard work.  Might it be easier setting up an affiliated running club?  But as it happens I'm on the committee of a charity already...so I had a look at what "cost price" means.

Turns out there are two charity schemes.

Gold bonds - the charity gets 5 places per year for 5 years at £1500 pa.  So, £300 per place, but more places than required, and there's a waiting list for charities to get on board.

Silver bonds - one place every 5 years for £300.  No mention of a waiting list.  This could be an option?  Raise some money for my charity and get a VLM place?  Is that unethical? 

Even if I did seriously consider this I would pretty much have to shell out the £300, since I would want all sponsorship to go to the charity.  I hadn't realised these places are so expensive for the charity.  For instance, if you run for BHF you pay £75 and pledge to raise £2000 (plus gift aid).  So your £75 plus £225 of your sponsorship is actually being paid to VLM.  This seems a bit harsh on your sponsors who are giving money for the charity.  Bit like all these "challenges" where you get to do a bungee jump or cycle across the sahara or whatever while your sponsors pay for it.

 

 

Pethead    pirate
02/10/2012 at 12:36

I think we need a "London Marathon Race" and a "Virgin London Charity Run"as separate events,  it would solve a lot of problems!

02/10/2012 at 12:40

What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of members, with a cap of 10 runners. 

That way if a club had 100 members it could apply for 10 places.

If it only wanted 5 places it would apply for 5.

All the running club associations will have the numbers of club members.

If a club is found to be bending the rules then it gets banned for a period of time.

That may even encourage more people to join clubs.

With there being 1500ish running clubs in the UK then the maximum number of places would be 15 000. Leaving 20 000 to be allocated to charities and ballots.

 

02/10/2012 at 12:51
No more Good For Age? Isn't that excluding runners?
02/10/2012 at 12:55
Shaun Reid wrote (see)

If you are with a running club which is UKA affiliated but the individual isn't can you still get a place in the VLM through the club...

Yes, you don't have to be affiliated personally.


Tenjiso wrote (see)

There is another way in.....

set up a charity and get a golden bond at cost price 

 

There is another way in....  set up a running club and get a guaranteed place at cost price (plus the cost of affiliation to UKA, which would be £50) 

02/10/2012 at 13:03
Rod Wallace wrote (see)

What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of members, with a cap of 10 runners. 

That way if a club had 100 members it could apply for 10 places.

If it only wanted 5 places it would apply for 5.

All the running club associations will have the numbers of club members.

If a club is found to be bending the rules then it gets banned for a period of time.

That may even encourage more people to join clubs.

With there being 1500ish running clubs in the UK then the maximum number of places would be 15 000. Leaving 20 000 to be allocated to charities and ballots.

 

its pretty much like that anyway.  We have 200 members and are entitled to 3 places which we give to club members so long as they meet the club criteria.

 


 

02/10/2012 at 13:04

Love the annual '[insert sponsor's name] London Marathon Ballot is unfair' thread.

Sure it's not great but a) it works and b) the event sells out every year so why change it?

It's only a handful who whinge and whine, the rest either do a different marathon or don't bother. So what if it's full of Z list slebs and fancy dress runners, it's their race, they can fill it with whoever they like. I don't particularly like the way the lottery numbers come out wrong every week but hey, that's life, some you win, some you lose.

 

Here's my tips, get faster and get a championship or GFA place, work your butt off and raise a lot of money, appear on TV for that sleb place, get lucky in the ballot or shut up and get on with life if none of the above apply.

02/10/2012 at 13:04
Rod Wallace wrote (see)

What if every running club could apply for a number of places based on a percentage of member...

Isn't that what happens, except with far fewer places than you're indicating?  I was under the impression that clubs generally get a minimum of two places, and more for larger clubs.  All the English clubs and their memberships are listed here:

http://www.englandathletics.org/core/core_picker/download.asp?id=7284

I'm not in a club myself - I'd prefer a smaller more easy-going club and there aren't many very near me, and the nearest ones to my urban location are rather competitive affairs.  But I understand from friends that some clubs don't even need as many VLM places as they have (depending on the type of club), so I think your 1 place per 10 members is a bit optimistic.

02/10/2012 at 13:25

Somebody involved in the computer system was on here last year saying that the system splits you into sub ballots depending on your expected time. If you put 4:00-4:30 you have much less chance of getting in than 3:00.

I think if it is the first time you have run a marathon or you're not really a runner, the charity route is a good one, but personally I would find it impossible to raise £1600 for something that my friends would think that I wouldn't find that "hard" and was doing because I wanted to ruyn it not because I wanted to raise money.

However, I would raise money if I got a ballot place.

It's all downhill, there's no mud and there are thousands of people running next to you. Can't see any attraction really, other than when people ask you if you've run London you can say yes.

02/10/2012 at 13:35
TimR wrote (see)

... Can't see any attraction really, other than when people ask you if you've run London you can say yes.

I think there is a lot of that in it!  Your friends have done it, your favourite celeb has done it, even Katie Price and done it....

02/10/2012 at 14:11

 

TimR wrote (see)

 

I think if it is the first time you have run a marathon or you're not really a runner, the charity route is a good one, but personally I would find it impossible to raise £1600 for something that my friends would think that I wouldn't find that "hard" and was doing because I wanted to ruyn it not because I wanted to raise money.

However, I would raise money if I got a ballot place.

 

I am in the same situation. My family/friends/colleagues have all sponsored me before, they know that I can run a marathon and its difficult to ask the same people again and again.

I would raise money for a charity if I got a ballot or club place, but would pick a small local one that has meaning to the people that are giving their money, one that does not have a minimum amount. 

The "big" charities and the LM are effectively pushing the smaller charities to one side.

The LM is a business that is there to make money, thats why Virgin paid so much for it. They sell places to charities for £300+ thus making 10 times more than they make from the normal entry fees.

The number of guaranteed charity places goes up each year, meaning less and less ballot places.

The GFA time will come down, thus opening more places for guaranteed charities.

If they were completely open and transparent on how the places are allocated then people like me would not really have much room for moaning.

 

 

 

02/10/2012 at 14:23

The LM is a business that is there to make money......

Isn't that the whole purpose of a business?

 

02/10/2012 at 14:30
No it's not the whole purpose of a business. But the accountants would have you think that!
02/10/2012 at 14:33

If there are more people entering than there are places then surely the answer is to put the price up. Supply and demand and all that.

Double the price. Less people will enter, so those that do enter will have a better chance of getting a place and the organisers will make more money. Capitalism FTW.

02/10/2012 at 14:34
I think it's a charity rather than a business. It's obviously in their best interest to raise as much for charity as possible.
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