London Marathon Good For Age

is it or not???

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22/04/2013 at 13:48


As with many of you keen runners, i went all out this year for a GFA entry. I ran Brighton and London Back to back. Brighton was tough in the last few miles, and when my time started to slip i gave up  in hope for London. I really felt the pain of the back to back marathons (especially as this was only my second and third marathon), but i gritted my teeth to achieve 3:08:53... Good for age for my category.

I phoned up today to ask about entering for this, and was informed (by a not so helpful person at VLM) that i should look out on the website. One thing that concerned me is that she said " there are changes due to take place about the way this is done".

Does anyone know about this, as this concerns me greatly. I know NYM times have got tougher, but they gave people a year notice. I had a target time in my head, and i made sure i got it... to change the goal posts now (after the event) would be heart breaking. Whether i could of went faster or not on this occasion is a different question, but the simple fact is, i did what i needed to do to 'guarentee' myself an entry next year... Is this guarenteed, and if not, how is this fair??? anyone know the answers

22/04/2013 at 14:09
It may just be the way it is administered. GFA involved bits of paper and snail mail last year, whereas I believe some of the other categories had online entry (i think Champs entries may have gone that way last year). Relax and enjoy the moment!
22/04/2013 at 14:30
Don't know mate, I've also qualified for gfa hopefully a couple of weeks ago. I'll keep checking the website?

I'd be gutted if after a few years of ballot rejections, they move the goalposts for gfa.
22/04/2013 at 14:44
I hope they announce any new times before the ballot on Monday 29th. Although I suppose no harm in entering ballot just in case.
22/04/2013 at 14:52

Maybe they will make it easier!!!!

22/04/2013 at 14:55
Well I ran 2:59:47 so even if they bring it down to 3 hours, I'm in by the skin of my teeth haha!
22/04/2013 at 15:57

Starting to panic I didnt defer now!!!

22/04/2013 at 16:04
Paul Addicott wrote (see)


... Is this guarenteed, and if not, how is this fair??? anyone know the answers


I don't think they worry much about whether the runners think that any element of the London Marathon entry system is fair.

22/04/2013 at 16:28

There has been talk of changes to GFA times for a couple of years now, it is due to happen.  Some influential vet's organisations have pointed out a few anomalies in the system and the powers that be at VLM have listened apparently.

I shouldn't worry too much, the obvious anomaly is that men have to run 3:15 from 41 up to age 59.  I can see this one being tweaked, could be argued that the ladies time of 3:50 is a little soft by comparison to the blokes but we shall see.  The rest will either stay the same or have minor tweaks IMHO. 

22/04/2013 at 16:48

Wardi I have to agree I think the ladies has a massive window from 3:15-3:50 for all ages 18-49, I think that needs to be looked at.The men's is incredibly tough Age 60-64 sub 3:30 when an 18 year old woman only has to go sub 3:50 doesn;t make sense really, hopefully the changes will be for the better I really can't see them making it harder for the guys, definitely not )


22/04/2013 at 16:59

The male/female anomaly is to encourage more woment to enter ... however, the male age-grade anomaly is just unfair to the oldies.

22/04/2013 at 17:03

Yes from a woman I think it's totally unfair, the men's is very strict lets hope they change it in the guy's favour


22/04/2013 at 17:29
Well you have gone some way to reassuring me that it should be ok, I am just nervous because if the tougher times at New York.
At least you will be ok jedward
22/04/2013 at 17:48
Not panicking as much now
22/04/2013 at 17:57

Male Age 60-64 Boston 3:50:00

Male Age 60-64 London 3:30:00

Having run both, IMHO Boston is a much tougher course, but not 20 mins tougher so one of them is wrong.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
22/04/2013 at 19:31
Neither of the are necessarily 'wrong', why would you expect them to be equal? Boston has to fill the entire field (near enough) with qualifiers, so it's in their interest to try and have an equal qualifying field through all age groups, hence the 5 year age ranges they use, with generally more favourable times than London. London couldn't cope with 20,000 GFA qualifiers, or even 10,000. London only has GFA to maximise the number of total number of runners by having as many sub3:30 runners as possible - an entirely random ballot would clog the course with 4-5 hour runners, because that's where most people are.

I'm not saying that it's fair, but that's the way it is.
22/04/2013 at 19:46
With a Paris time of 3:49:49 I reckon the women's time is just right...
22/04/2013 at 21:40

CD - I agree - points taken!

I am not fussed either way as I have a GFA for London and a BQ for Boston and the races are entirely different in nature.

London is a national fun run for 80% of the competitors, while 80% of runners at Boston have to qualify. Also, I get the impression that the BAA make massive donations to charity, while in London, the charity money comes from the runners themselves.

So a different set up....either way, both events will continue to be massively over-subscribed in the future I'm sure.

22/04/2013 at 21:49
Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

London is a national fun run for 80% of the competitors, while 80% of runners at Boston have to qualify.


Little bit of an elitist attitude there, I'd guess to a lot it was anything but fun and one of the biggest acheivements.

22/04/2013 at 23:19
Mike- I've done both and think Boston is better to pb in despite the hills at miles 17 etc and the marathon belongs to the city so you feel part of something special there for the whole weekend .London doesn't fall short of it but even though its flat I still haven't run faster than I did in Boston despite three attempts.
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