Just rang FLM office

about online entry problems

61 to 68 of 68 messages
15/04/2008 at 22:46

I too have entered the ballot four times and been rejected. The only reason I got a place this year is because I got a club place of which 14 in my club also wanted and it will be their turn next year. I have raised money this year for a local charity I wanted to as it was my first marathon, but I will not have the funds from the people that supported me this year in order to raise enough money for a golden bond place next year.

 It is disappointing each year to get rejected from the ballot but I would at least hope to get in the ballot in the first place. I know the ballot is not always the fairest system as it is random but I do not agree that because I have ran it once out of the five years I have wanted to that I should not get a place this year or even the fair opportunity to get one. What will annoy me though that all these places will have been paid for by people who will not show the commitment to the training and rather than withdraw in plenty time for FLM to offer other places out, that they will just not show up on the day.

17/04/2008 at 21:54

I agree totally. I was at home last night and had a real rant about this.

18/04/2008 at 17:49

Sorry that the lines are engaged.  We have 20 lines and since Monday they have been full most of the time.  Hopefully once the 2nd phase is online on Monday this will relieve the pressure.  When you consider that 92,000 applied in 3 months last year (and a very sizeable percentage of that in the last 2 weeks) it was a little surprising that over 80,000 applied in just 36 hours this year.

We always had in mind a limit to the number of applications that would be accepted in the first phase to ensure that those who had raced would be able to apply but were taken aback that this limit was reached so quickly.

Having looked at the numbers who have applied already who ran this year, the 35,000 online ballot applications left is considerably more than enough to cover all of those still to apply even if everyone who ran in 2008 who have not yet applied were to do so now.  Of course, there are people who still want to apply but did not run 2008.

Our Board set a limit on applications to give people a reasonable chance of getting in through the Ballot but I do not think we imagined the increase in applications might be more than 30% up on the previous year considering the slow rate of growth in previous years.

18/04/2008 at 17:55
Did you not consider that given the ease of applying online as opposed to having to wait until the summer to go to JJB or other sports shop to get a magazine, that many more would have applied?  Also the fact that people knew they could enter right after watching the race on TV would encourage more entries?
18/04/2008 at 18:19

Nick, I think you are to be commended for putting your head above the parapet and entering the debate head-on, but I find it difficult to accept that you and your team didn't realise that you would generate a lot more impulse applications by starting the ballot at 12 noon on race day-the time of maximum coverage on TV.

Will you come back on here in a year's time and give a figure for the number of drop outs from people who received on line ballot places in comparison to the number of people who dropped out after seeking out and filling in a form and posting a cheque?

Incidentally; I too phoned about my entry.  It took all day to get through, but when I did the person I spoke to was friendly, efficient and helpful-the hallmark of every FLM employee and volunteer I have met over the years.  They really are a credit to the organisation, irrespective of any runner's opinion of the way places are allocated.

18/04/2008 at 19:54
Nick, it's great that you've come on to RW and are responding to some queries. I appreciate it though I'm a new runner (previously cyclist). I wonder if you might answer some of the age old queries about the ballot, such as why you used to ask various questions on the outside of the envelope? Did these make a difference to your chances or were they for statistical purposes? I can appreciate if you don't want to answer anything that will skew the entries, but is there anything you could say? Perhaps an interview with RW?
19/04/2008 at 09:53

Personally I think the ballot should open one week after the marathon. I believe that in this space of time people who were only caught up in the emotion of the day would have gone back to their working lives and have forgotten all about it.

Those who are considering it will be able to think whether it is something they really want to do, and it then gives those who are genuine a much fairer opportunity to get a ballot place. (fairer in that most places are being competed for by genuine entrants and won't just be wasted)

What happens if probability gives the majority of ballot places to people who are really not committed and just drop out?

Edited: 19/04/2008 at 09:55
19/04/2008 at 10:26

I'm interested to know how anyone actually got to speak to a real person on the phoneline.  I spent ages trying to get thro' and eventually got a ringing tone, followed a series of instructions to get an automated message telling me to contact realbuzz, then it cut off.  Fortunately I got an email from someone at realbuzz telling me I had got in the ballot so all was well in the end.

Have to say that imho the online registration shouldn't open on race day itself - day after maybe or as Dan suggests even a week later.

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