Why do the London Marathon organisers discriminate against middle aged runners?

London GFA places descriminate against middle aged runners

21 to 40 of 90 messages
21/08/2012 at 14:14

"There are three main ways to get a place in the London Marathon:  via the ballet, via a charity or through a coveted “Good For Age” (GFA) place."

Clubs affiliated to UKA also get places, the number depeding on the size of the club.

You're more likely to get a club place than a ballot place in my club.

21/08/2012 at 14:43

I'm rubbish at ballet

Tommygun2    pirate
21/08/2012 at 14:49

I thought being a minor celebrity was also a catergory that would gain you a place in the VLM. You even get your own start pen. So if you don't make the GFA grade get your self on a reality show of some sort and bingo guaranteed place

21/08/2012 at 15:08

I had to get to 50 before I got a GFA and then-not expecting to- did it twice in a year.Ironically, the first London GFA was achieved at Boston which I wouldnt have been able to run if 3.15 was the GFA for that race -3.30 was the GFA for me then for that race. Saying that ,it took my third attempt at London to go uner 3.15-this year- as in 2010, I failed by 23 seconds.

 Im hoping they relax  the GFA  ready for when Im 55 as Im not convinced I can keep going at this pace much longer-bits seem to be falling apart! Thats the point I suppose -endurance may remain but the rest of the body wont repair quickly or at all when broken and it seems to break a lot more now than when I was younger.

21/08/2012 at 16:03

Does anyone have any idea how much the charities have to pay for their places? As they seem to want people to raise thoudands of pounds which seems a lot.

22/08/2012 at 09:14
??300 was the figure quoted in the Dispatches progamme
22/08/2012 at 09:15
300 pounds
22/08/2012 at 09:25

@NLR - doesnt it depend on the type of place? Gold or Silver bond? 300 is definitely right but I can't remember if it was for gold or silver.

22/08/2012 at 13:19
Wow 300 from a charity per place. If I was running a business then I can see why they would make more places available for those paying ??300 and then make the system more difficult for those that are only paying ??32 (GFA)
I'm not saying I agree with what they are doing but it must make business sense for them.
22/08/2012 at 13:23

Millsy, it's not actually a business - after operating costs any money is distributed to various charities, community projects, etc.

There has been criticism of how this is done, but the London Marathon is not in business to make a profit.

22/08/2012 at 13:37
Sorry for assuming it was a "business". Even if they are a charity they would still want to get as much money in as possible so they can distribute this to their good causes etc.
22/08/2012 at 15:53

It is a business which is organised on a not-for-profit basis. Rather than maximising profit, the aim is to maximise their surplus. It amounts to pretty much the same thing. 'Business' is not a dirty word restricted to money grabbing capitalists!

cougie    pirate
22/08/2012 at 16:06

Yep London Marathon is a business. Its a charity and its duty is to maximise its contributions. 

22/08/2012 at 16:08

No - but I took Millsy's thinking to be that LM was making money to line the pockets of the directors and/or shareholders, etc.

I don't understand why they charge such a small individual entry fee (compared to other big city marathons).  They could certainly increase the surplus by putting that up a bit - people would still scramble to pay it.



cougie    pirate
22/08/2012 at 16:11

sssssh !!!

22/08/2012 at 16:40
My thinking was not about people lining their pockets. Just the fact that any Organisation whether it for pure profit or charity will try its best to maximise any revenue as best they can.
22/08/2012 at 16:44

You'd be surprised how many disgruntled people complain about "greedy" charities, filling their pockets with the hard-earned cash of the humble marathon runner.


22/08/2012 at 18:21

I munged the figures from last year's Abingdon marathon (up to mv50 & fv55) and percentage wise more women do get GFA times - e.g. 26% of male seniors vs 32 % of F seniors, 32% of mv40s vs 30-51% of fv35 & fv45s (it is a bit confused because the lines are drawn in different places to the gfa lines). 20% of mv50 vs 55% of fv55...

But numbers wise there are more than twice as many male seniors, about twice as many male middleaged runners, and almost five times as many mv50 as fv55 - when it comes to numbers who have made the grade.

Would be interesting to hear from the London organizers what their goals are with GFA...

Blisters    pirate
23/08/2012 at 23:31

I agree with Wilkie.

The entry fee should be £50

It's not even £2 per mile.

I'd save my entry fee each year on the discounted trainers at the expo. The bit that really stung was the bill at the Premier Inn for 2 nights, and food for a family for a weekend.

24/08/2012 at 09:08

I've been presuming that the point of the GFA places was to avoid a huge gap between the elite runners and the rest of the runners - and to have both male and female runners in that section. I'm not complaining - I got a place!

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