London Marathon Ballot system is a joke.

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seren nos    pirate
03/10/2012 at 09:02

the only goal posts they changed i thought was making it easier for men 20-40 getting in they moved it from 3:00 to 3:10

03/10/2012 at 09:14
Rod Wallace wrote (see)

 

Maybe over the winter a GFA in the half would be a realistic target. I have one pencilled in for November.

 

There's no such thing, unless you're quick enough to run a half - I presume you mean half marathon - in sub-1:15 and get a Championship place.

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
03/10/2012 at 09:40

The one bit about place allocation that you've all missed is, if you don't live in GB, there are two other ways to get in - the overseas ballot, and more costly but a guaranteed place through a tour company, some countries have a designated tour operator which has been given a plane-load of guaranteed start places. I know this is true because I did it several times myself. - expensive because it includes flights, hotel (not a cheap one), start number and bus transport to the start.

03/10/2012 at 17:13

London Marathon serves a single purpose - by a variety of means - which is not grasped by many people. It's a charity which exists for the simple purpose to raise money for other charities, via the mechanism of organising a running race.

Popularity & visibility are critical factors for their success. So they run several races within an overall race day. A race for elite athletes, a race for less-abled athletes, a race for aspiring committed athletes and a race for aspirational and frequently ignorant non-athletes who'd like to give it a try.

The race organisers tweak the entry system to ensure that there are sufficient numbers within each sub-race to continue to maximise the amount of publicity, in order to attract charity sponsorship. It's a bit like Coke's "Secret Formula".

Some races emphasise the speed of competition by setting tough qualification times - Boston Marathon.
Some races are shameless about raising money for charity (NYC Marathon $281 entry fee)
Some emphasise the fun dimension - Marathon du Medoc
Some emphasise inclusiveness and accessibility - your local 5K Parkrun for example

It's entirely possible that what the VLM race organisers consider to be a successful event may not correspond with your view. I don't see any point complaining about it. It's just the way it is. In NY you only have a 6% chance of succeeding in the ballot (and it is a really crappy experience in my subjective opinion). At least there is a ballot for VLM and you have a chance to get lucky. Or if you have money, buy yourself a charity or travel place. Or if you are blessed with health and fitness, run fast to quality for a GFA place. Or if you are famous for some whimsical reason, use that as justification to enter. But don't whine about it please. VLM doesn't exist FOR you. Runners are the PRODUCT of the system.

Addendum. Go to Paris instead. Brilliantly organised, beautiful surroundings, fast course, you get 4-6 weeks to apply before places sell out. Same for Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Eindhoven, Rome, Barcelona, Loch Ness and probably Luton or Abingdon too. Be positive.

03/10/2012 at 17:22

I can see there's not an easy way in for you Rod but it's not impossible. Prioritise your training over other things you have going on in life and you can get the GFA - I ran 7x a week to make qualification standards for races. It's not such a high standard (if you look at WAVA tables for objectivity).

And there's about a 1 in 6 chance with the ballot. If both of those things seem too hard, then i suggest you change what you are looking for. Run another race, run another distance or rob a bank.

03/10/2012 at 17:32
Tricky Dicky¹ wrote (see)

London Marathon serves a single purpose - by a variety of means - which is not grasped by many people. It's a charity which exists for the simple purpose to raise money for other charities, via the mechanism of organising a running race.

Popularity & visibility are critical factors for their success. So they run several races within an overall race day. A race for elite athletes, a race for less-abled athletes, a race for aspiring committed athletes and a race for aspirational and frequently ignorant non-athletes who'd like to give it a try.

The race organisers tweak the entry system to ensure that there are sufficient numbers within each sub-race to continue to maximise the amount of publicity, in order to attract charity sponsorship. It's a bit like Coke's "Secret Formula".

Some races emphasise the speed of competition by setting tough qualification times - Boston Marathon.
Some races are shameless about raising money for charity (NYC Marathon $281 entry fee)
Some emphasise the fun dimension - Marathon du Medoc
Some emphasise inclusiveness and accessibility - your local 5K Parkrun for example

It's entirely possible that what the VLM race organisers consider to be a successful event may not correspond with your view. I don't see any point complaining about it. It's just the way it is. In NY you only have a 6% chance of succeeding in the ballot (and it is a really crappy experience in my subjective opinion). At least there is a ballot for VLM and you have a chance to get lucky. Or if you have money, buy yourself a charity or travel place. Or if you are blessed with health and fitness, run fast to quality for a GFA place. Or if you are famous for some whimsical reason, use that as justification to enter. But don't whine about it please. VLM doesn't exist FOR you. Runners are the PRODUCT of the system.

Addendum. Go to Paris instead. Brilliantly organised, beautiful surroundings, fast course, you get 4-6 weeks to apply before places sell out. Same for Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Eindhoven, Rome, Barcelona, Loch Ness and probably Luton or Abingdon too. Be positive.

Dear quite-new web site editor,

Can we create a "sticky" from Tricky's post - ooh, Tricky Dicky's sticky! - to plop at the top of the marathon sub-forum each year, just about the time when all the London Marathon rejections are confirmed?

Ta!

x

Edited: 03/10/2012 at 17:33
03/10/2012 at 18:47

As a newcomer to this forum I have to admit I find some of this thread bewildering. There seems to be some people who seem to treat a VLM place as some kind of inalienable right! Bizarre!

03/10/2012 at 20:28

Thank you Tricky Dicky for your truly comprehensive explanation.  Agree with PhilPub re posting at top of marathon sub-forums.  It might spare a few postings from those - who as Crimson says - seem to have a massive sense of self entitlement to place in London, but then again it might not...

04/10/2012 at 10:26

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  

DO NOT put Tricky Dicky's post as a sticky!!!  It will take all the fun out of the annual whine-fest that starts as soon as the rejection magazines are received!  

By the way I love the statement that runners are the product of the system - so true. A colleague of mine got a place last year on his first attempt in the ballot (jammy git ), and is now a committed runner and is entered for another marathon next spring (not London).  

In the meantime, as this thread gradually dies , I patiently await the start of next year's.  

 

IronCat5    pirate
04/10/2012 at 12:16

Great for your colleague Tenjiso. I'd suggest this is the exception to the rule though. I guess most VLMers are one-and-done. Based on my opinion only, and no statistics whatsoever!

04/10/2012 at 13:00

I got in for next year. It will be my 5th London and 6th marathon.

Having said that, I would agree with the 'one-and-done' statement in general.

04/10/2012 at 13:35

IC5 - my statistical sample size of one must be more reliable than yours of zero 

Was London your first marathon Nykie? 

 

04/10/2012 at 13:44

By one-and-done, do you mean people who were not runners, got a place in VLM, did it and never ran again?

Or people who were runners, got a place in VLM, carreid on running but never bothered with VLM again?

I don't know any of the first kind, but I'm one of the second.

On the other hand, I know several people who've done two or three VLMs.

04/10/2012 at 13:47
I've done 3 FLM's
seren nos    pirate
04/10/2012 at 13:58

I think there are people each year that ise london as a platform to beco e regular runners.the same as RFL..........and i think this is an important job for both of these events as well as the fund raisers they are

04/10/2012 at 14:16

I was lucky to get a club place two years ago and my name came out of the general ballot for 2013. So it is possible, just keep at it.

Having said that, if my name hadn't come out I wasn't going to lose any sleep. I consider VLM as an event not a race. Good to do but there are many better races to go for.

04/10/2012 at 15:04

Why do they only run it once a year if it's so popular? Autumn VLM/ Spring VLM, would improve entry chances and double the ammount for charity, everyone wins - don't they?

04/10/2012 at 15:10

It would water the effect down. 

They'd no longer be able to say it was the biggest one-day fundraising event in the world.

seren nos    pirate
04/10/2012 at 15:11

I imagine it would be hard to persuade the authorities to shut down all the roads more often

cougie    pirate
04/10/2012 at 15:44
Christmas is popular too - can we have that twice a year please ?
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