London Marathon Ballot system is a joke.

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01/10/2012 at 12:41

For how much longer are the London Marathon organiser going to get away with their shambollick entry system? You apply year after year in the faint glimmer of hope that you'll get a place and year after year you get the inevitable "missed out" letter. They say that if you have applied 5 years in a row then you are guaranteed a place in the 6th year, they dont make that clear anywhere though, and if you miss a year its back to the bottom of the pile. You generously say, keep my entry fee if I'm unsuccessful, and they send you a "free" top that is always the wrong size.

They should come clean, how many of the total runners places actually go to the ballot.I would hazard a guess at less than 10%.

Its not a runners race, its a shameless way of making money. It great that charities benefit from it, how much of the money paid into entrying it actually goes to charity is anyone's guess.

It was a race that was started by runners, which has become an event that has forgotten its running roots.

01/10/2012 at 12:43

If you dont like it, you are free to chose another race.

01/10/2012 at 12:47

Have to agree very difficult to get in through the ballot - but the solution is pretty simple, run another race get the qualifying (sub 2:45) time or a good for age and get a guaranteed entry - simple.

IronCat5    pirate
01/10/2012 at 12:49

The 5 year rule was the previous sponsor. Virgin agreed to keep it going for a few years. This is the last year that 5 fails gets win.

I'm tight and don't donate my fee. I wouldn't want to wear a top advertising the VLM having never run it.

It was started by real runners, but is now a fancy dress party. Surely real marathoners that can't get in on a GFA run real marathons like Abingdon or similar? London is on my list, but only to tick off. I didn't even enter this year.

01/10/2012 at 12:50

LM is what it is.  they don't have to change a single thing as it is oversusbcribed every year. their race, their rules.

as stutyr says, you are free to choose another event if you don't like it

01/10/2012 at 13:13

That is why i would never run this race, heard too many stories of folk trying to get in and never succeeding.   Lot of other great marathons out there so go for those.  just my opinion

01/10/2012 at 13:17

Can you come up with a good alternative though?

First come first served - would need massive capacity and no doubt the system would crash

Applications - where you have to put in why I want to run VLM would no doubt lead to companies offering to do this for you not to mention the additional admin involved and inevitable nightmare of subjective criteria!

So what do you suggest?

seren nos    pirate
01/10/2012 at 13:22

Rod.............real runners  can get a guaranteed entry every year........for all the rest of us its either luck or do another race............

 

01/10/2012 at 14:18

I am free to choose another race, thats why I ran the Loch Ness marathon again yesterday.

The GFA time keeps going down so they can sell more places to charities.

I know lots of club runners that would struggle to make the GFA time.

Its now 3:15 for my age group and will undoubtedly follow some of the others and drop to 3:10 or less very soon.

I would have it that if you apply and don't get in, then your made priority for the following year, getting a place before first time applicants. And your case is prioritised higher the number of years you miss out, like it used to be.

London is one of the big 5 marathons, the only one in this country and that is theonly reason that I want to run it.

And your right, its their race, so their rules. I just expect a little more transparency.

cougie    pirate
01/10/2012 at 14:30
Imagine the checks you'd need to work out who ran last year and who didn't ?
Apply from a mates address and you'd be in.

It's a victim of its own success. It's great that it's massively oversubscribed.
01/10/2012 at 14:39

It may be one of the 'big five marathons' but what does that actually mean? 

That is gives you bragging rights?  "yeah, I've done London/New York/Berlin....."

It is just another 26.2 miles of running, but with a lot of people in costumes thrown in. 

01/10/2012 at 14:40

Its the 20th century, all the checks could be done automatically by a software app.

Like someone said, its a fancy dress event, if they keep making it more and more difficult for club runners to enter then they'll stop trying and the race will be the big loser.

01/10/2012 at 14:44
Rod Wallace wrote (see)

I am free to choose another race, thats why I ran the Loch Ness marathon again yesterday.

The GFA time keeps going down so they can sell more places to charities.

I know lots of club runners that would struggle to make the GFA time.

Its now 3:15 for my age group and will undoubtedly follow some of the others and drop to 3:10 or less very soon.

I would have it that if you apply and don't get in, then your made priority for the following year, getting a place before first time applicants. And your case is prioritised higher the number of years you miss out, like it used to be.

London is one of the big 5 marathons, the only one in this country and that is theonly reason that I want to run it.

And your right, its their race, so their rules. I just expect a little more transparency.

And how would that work? Say there are 20,000 ballot places and 50,000 people apply which from the figures I have seen quoted of ranging from a 1 in 5 chance of getting in and a 1 in 14 chance is probably way too low. If that happened no-one would get in the following year that was a first time applicant and even all second time applicants wouldn't either!

01/10/2012 at 14:52
Rod Wallace wrote (see)

Like someone said, its a fancy dress event, if they keep making it more and more difficult for club runners to enter then they'll stop trying and the race will be the big loser.

That's another route to a place - running clubs affiliated to UKA get guaranteed places to allocate as they see fit. 

However, even if loads of club runners did stop trying (which they won't) that would only put a dent in the number of people who apply - which is currently limited to 125,000.  There must be plenty more who miss that cut-off. 

01/10/2012 at 15:09

And it puts off new runners, I know of people that aren't runners that apply and dont get in and low and behold never become runners. I even try and cajole them along saying to start with 10K and work your way up. 

The sad thing is London has become a business and will remain so as long as no one complains and goes with the status quo.

Oh, and I have lodged a complaint with the organisers, not that it will do any good.

 

01/10/2012 at 15:14

I quite proudly tell people that I've never, nor am I at all interested in the VLM.  There are far better marathons out there.

01/10/2012 at 15:15

How about for every unsuccessful application you get one extra entry in the ballot for the next year until you are picked. This way your chances are increased every time you are unsuccessful. It's not going to guarantee anything because if it's oversubscribed it's impossible to please everybody, but it would be slightly fairer for those who have previously been disappointed.

WiB
01/10/2012 at 15:22

I love these threads. Every year someone doesn't get in then rants about the ballot system.

Just train harder and run a GFA time or go pick another marathon. I have run London and wouldn't go back to run it again, it's not fun.

With regards to putting of new runners, probably not as much as actually running it does! If they are put off that easily then they were doing it for the wrong reasons anyway.

WiB
01/10/2012 at 15:40

Other marathons are available.

01/10/2012 at 15:47

People keep telling me that the LM is hard to get into.  I applied for the first time this year, not through the ballot, I applied through a charity and have just been offered a place.  I'm sure people won;t be happy to hear that but it seems to me that it's the luck of the draw?

But if people are raising money for charity then I say fair play.

Sorry for my ignorance but what is GFA? 

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