# VLM - 12th rejection today in 12 ballot entries...

21 to 40 of 61 messages
26/09/2013 at 14:58

what a surprise I am not in now to look for a marathon any ideals

26/09/2013 at 15:17

It's my 5th rejection in a row. I am pretty sure that th '5' in a row limit finished last year, so if you hadn't clocked up 5 by then it doesn't matter how many more you get now, you won't automatically get in. Pretty sure that's the case - If I had applied a year earlier then I would have been able to get in on the 5 rejection scheme.

Mind you, having experienced this so often and with what I believe to be 'only one marathon in me' and my age, I entered Brighton earlier in the year as back up. Looks like I'll never get to do London, but will at least have Brighton to my name.

Edited: 26/09/2013 at 15:20
26/09/2013 at 15:20

It's a bit like throwing a dice 12 times and never rolling a 6. Quite feasible. You next "throw" will still be 1 chance in 6

26/09/2013 at 15:31

Yep its called the Monte Carlo fallacy or something Sussex Runner NLR . As the previous 12 have already happened it doesn't affect at all your chances next year

26/09/2013 at 16:28

Boring probability lesson, while I wait to go home and check todays post.*

Lets imagine the odds for each entry are 1 in 5 (as is commonly suggested).

On your first entry the calculation is simple.

1 in 5 = 0.2 or a 20% chance.

On your second entry you don't add your "20%"s together to give 40% (because that would guarantee a place after 5 entries which is wrong).  And you don't multiply the 0.2 values (because that would lower the probability which is wrong).  We multiply probabilities when we want the probability of x and y happening.  0.2 * 0.2 gives the probability of getting a place in year 1 and in year 2 (4%).  Instead you can think about it like this.  What are the odds of not getting a place in year 1 and not getting a place in year 2? 4/5 * 4/5 = 16/25 = 64% . So the odds of getting a place at least once in either of the two years of entry are the opposite of that, 36% (because the probability of getting a place plus not getting a place has to add up to 100%).

So after 1 entry your chance of getting a place is: 1-(4/5)=0.2=20%

After 2 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5)=36%

After 3 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5*4/5)=49%

4 entries: 59%

5 entries: 67%

6 entries: 74%

7 entries: 79%

8 entries: 83%

9 entries: 87%

10 entries: 89%

So (again, assuming it is about 1 in 5 each time) after 10 entries, the chance that you were successful at least once is 89%.  After 12 entries you had a 93% chance of being successful at least once, or a 7% chance of STILL not getting a place, about 1 in 15.

But of course you're never guaranteed a place even after 100 entries.  And, perhaps confusingly, even after 9 fails (or 99 fails), the chance on the 10th time (or the 100th time) is still 1 in 5 or 20% (like Sussex Runner NLR says).  The unlikely thing has already happened by then (as Keith says).

* although I bequeathed so I'll probably have to wait a bit longer...

26/09/2013 at 16:37

Apologies to anyone who is already intimate with stats or for any mistakes in th above.

seren nos    pirate
26/09/2013 at 18:02

and the chances are way less than 1 in 5........i think its probably less than 1 in 10

26/09/2013 at 18:17
I'm in. Had 5 rejections so this is year 6 and last chance to do 5 and in. I've done other marathons instead to keep me busy
26/09/2013 at 18:48

have been lucky I suppose and have done it 4 times in 5 years. The first time was brilliant but after the first its not the same. I have done Jersey twice Brighton Loch Ness and am doing Berlin next year and booked up already. Hope you all get in eventually but I enjoyed the other marathons as much and dare I say more?

26/09/2013 at 19:07
Tarantula wrote (see)

Boring probability lesson, while I wait to go home and check todays post.*

Lets imagine the odds for each entry are 1 in 5 (as is commonly suggested).

On your first entry the calculation is simple.

1 in 5 = 0.2 or a 20% chance.

On your second entry you don't add your "20%"s together to give 40% (because that would guarantee a place after 5 entries which is wrong).  And you don't multiply the 0.2 values (because that would lower the probability which is wrong).  We multiply probabilities when we want the probability of x and y happening.  0.2 * 0.2 gives the probability of getting a place in year 1 and in year 2 (4%).  Instead you can think about it like this.  What are the odds of not getting a place in year 1 and not getting a place in year 2? 4/5 * 4/5 = 16/25 = 64% . So the odds of getting a place at least once in either of the two years of entry are the opposite of that, 36% (because the probability of getting a place plus not getting a place has to add up to 100%).

So after 1 entry your chance of getting a place is: 1-(4/5)=0.2=20%

After 2 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5)=36%

After 3 entries: 1-(4/5*4/5*4/5)=49%

4 entries: 59%

5 entries: 67%

6 entries: 74%

7 entries: 79%

8 entries: 83%

9 entries: 87%

10 entries: 89%

So (again, assuming it is about 1 in 5 each time) after 10 entries, the chance that you were successful at least once is 89%.  After 12 entries you had a 93% chance of being successful at least once, or a 7% chance of STILL not getting a place, about 1 in 15.

But of course you're never guaranteed a place even after 100 entries.  And, perhaps confusingly, even after 9 fails (or 99 fails), the chance on the 10th time (or the 100th time) is still 1 in 5 or 20% (like Sussex Runner NLR says).  The unlikely thing has already happened by then (as Keith says).

* although I bequeathed so I'll probably have to wait a bit longer...

I love this!

Congratulations to  all who have managed to get a place.  I'll apply again next year and cross my fingers and hope!  So see you next year with my 13th rejection!!

27/09/2013 at 08:11

I got my 5th rejection in a row yesterday, I last ran it in 1994 & really fancied another crack at it but unless I can get a club place (a possibilty) I won't be doing it again, I'll find another one. I really don't believe it's 1 in 4 chance of getting in, the ballot stopped at 160,000, they accept close to 40,000. This figure doesn't include all of the thousands of charity places, I would love to know what the real chances of getting in via the ballot are.

27/09/2013 at 08:47
Sarah 99 wrote (see)

Has anyone found out they have got in and they did not bequeth their money?

Both me and my wife were successful in the ballot and neither of us donated our fee.

I am at a loss to try and work out how they do the selection. I have been rejected 3 times before this. It was the first time she has entered the ballot.

27/09/2013 at 08:59

Tarantula - thanks for the maths!
Can't remember the bequeath box anymore, I thought you just paid on acceptance?
Still in the old days when you sent a cheque, I got in once despite not bequeathing.

For the record: 21 years, 20 applications, 4 acceptances, plus one more on the old "5 rejects and you're in" scheme & 1 deferral. It was a 'no' this year.

27/09/2013 at 09:03

It was a no for me...........thank goodness!!  Entered the ballot when I was fit and not poorly so had I got a place I'd have had to defer it to the following year, assuming by then I'd be running again!!

Do you think the smurf dood on the front page of the magazine got in again, as a payoff for using his picture?!?!?

27/09/2013 at 09:09

I didn't get in but had already entered the Kent Marathon when entires opened on the 1st June -

27/09/2013 at 09:13

My record is

Rejected-got club place

In through ballot

GFA

GFA

GFA

Rejected

5 times in out of 6 is not bad.

Dustboy    pirate
27/09/2013 at 09:41

Nine consecutive no's so I am but a beginner at the art of not doing it! LOL! I am convinced you only got the guaranteed place after five if you complained about it, otherwise, tough. I CBA.

27/09/2013 at 10:36
Grendel3 wrote (see)

I didn't get in but had already entered the Kent Marathon when entires opened on the 1st June -

Is that the Gravesend Cyclopark marathon Grendel? I considered that but don't fancy 17 laps much - but people who've done it seem to like it.

27/09/2013 at 10:56

All this talk of probability reminds me of an article I saw recently about the Monty Hall problem. Hard to get your head round, but once you do it's an interesting answer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24045598

27/09/2013 at 11:02
andy x wrote (see)

I got my 5th rejection in a row yesterday, I last ran it in 1994 & really fancied another crack at it but unless I can get a club place (a possibilty) I won't be doing it again, I'll find another one. I really don't believe it's 1 in 4 chance of getting in, the ballot stopped at 160,000, they accept close to 40,000. This figure doesn't include all of the thousands of charity places, I would love to know what the real chances of getting in via the ballot are.

The actual statistics are never made public, but the most reasonable "best guess" I've seen is that out of a total of about 45,000 there's 20,000 ballot places, 12,500 charity places, and the rest for last year's dropouts, five-strikes, overseas entrants, championships, gfas,etc.  The ballot closed at 125,000 so the chances of success is approx 1 in 6.

Unfortunately statistics count for nothing in the computer age because it is generally accepted that the organisers "shape" the ballot to give the distribution of finishing times they want.  The optimum time to put on your application been debated on these forums for years, with no satisfactory conclusion.  However I'd bet that they want the majority to finish around 4-5 hours while the live TV coverage is still on.  They don't want a huge number of over-60's (my category) coming in at 7+ hours while they're trying to wind down their operation in the Mall!

Edited: 27/09/2013 at 11:08
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