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

London GFA places descriminate against middle aged runners

41 to 60 of 90 messages
24/08/2012 at 09:20

I think the GFA places are to allow people who are willing to work hard get a place ahead of the ballot.

As DB above says, they also provide a steady stream of runners between the elite and championship runners and the costume-wearers and untrained walkers at the back.

24/08/2012 at 11:45

I agree with Wilkie!   I think they could easily double the entry fee without any fuss.  Although I don't think that it will necessarily follow that they will reduce what they charge charities by the same amount.  They could leave the charity fee the same and have more funds for their own foundation.   It'll certainly be wasteful to have a big gap between elite and fancy dress runners.

Perhaps the GFA entry could be priced higher as a premium for it being guaranteed and secure, rather than a lottery...

I also like the idea of the age grading, perhaps at 65% (so as not to exclude me!) but I think that this would be less workable from an administration perspective.

Does anyone know how much the international runners get charged to run the VLM?  For Italian races (for example), they charge more for non-Italians that locals. 

06/09/2012 at 15:10
It's also about the road capacity I think. This year I jogged round in 4:09 and was surprised how much more crowded it was at that pace, especially along Narrow Street and round Docklands. Every other year I've been in the 2:50-3:10 range and had a totally different experience.

Extending the range for vets to 3:30 would massively increase the numbers Isuspect.

One more GFA place left next year - better train to make sure I claim 2 more year's eligibility.

Of course the real scandal was relaxing the standard for youngsters to 3:10. Sub-3 should always be the goal!
08/09/2012 at 01:30
Anyone know the numbers? How many on GFA? Ballot? Clubs? Charity?

Are ballot numbers shrinking?
11/09/2012 at 07:30

London is a bargain compared with the other majors - I paid £190 for NYC (7 years ago) £110 for Chicago last year & £125 for Boston this year (I think Berlin was about £70 ?) 

London is still half the price of Brighton !!!

Charge £100 & give decent T-shirts. 

Simple to get in run faster or put your hand in your pocket & do something good for charity



11/09/2012 at 08:04
They want you to stump up a lot more than ??190 to run it for a charity. They want you to raise at least ??500 which makes it the most expensive major. ??300 of that goes to the race organisers and after the charities have taken their expenses then there is only ??3.50 left "to do something good for charity"
11/09/2012 at 12:28

Normally you have to raise at least £1200 for charity at VLM these days but that's not alot a money really - the charitiees must think it's  worthwhile orr they wouldn't do it.

Of the £300 golden bond cost much of that goes to VLM's chosen charities.


11/09/2012 at 13:12
Of course the charities think it's worthwhile. They pay themselves good salaries out of the money raised.
11/09/2012 at 18:57

but they still do go work with the remaining funds I'm sure  

I do prefer to support smaller charities so I know exactly where the money is going - My chosen Charity is Brathay Trust & I'm hoping to raise £3000 for them in the next 9 months  

11/09/2012 at 20:01
The charity fat cats will be having a glass of champers on the likes of simple smiley people like you
11/09/2012 at 21:27

Errr, off topic.  This is supposed to be a thread about GFA places.  Please don't turn it into yet another charity bashing punch & judy show, there will be enough of those after the ballot results come out!

12/09/2012 at 09:22
Ok I will save my best charity bashes for late October. But he started it Sir ;0)
13/05/2013 at 14:32

As a disgruntled middle-aged 3:30 man, discriminated against by both age and gender, I would point out that another way to get in is all the freebie places given to sponsors and friends of the organising committee. It's not quite as bad as the football authorities but there are definitely people "running" who (i) haven't trained, (ii) haven't paid, (iii) aren't raising dosh for charity, (iv) laugh in the face of the ballet (I think it should be renamed to this). I know some.

cougie    pirate
13/05/2013 at 14:55
If you want to run it that much - just train harder and get a GFA ?

Or apply for your club place ?

You'll always get people who haven't trained properly - but then again - if you had - surely you'd have got a GFA ?
13/05/2013 at 14:57

harsh !

13/05/2013 at 15:06

Harsh but fair.  The changes have made it easier for middle aged men, especially the 50 year olds.


i did it in 3 05 with shin splints.....

Edited: 13/05/2013 at 15:08
13/05/2013 at 15:06

To discriminate is to differentiate. Without letting every person through auatomatically, then surely you have to discriminate, or am I missing the point.

RM3 - out of interest, what would you class Good For Age for your age bracket, so that you weren't discriminated against? I'm guessing 3:31

Edited: 13/05/2013 at 15:07
13/05/2013 at 16:19

Impressive assumptions in there Cougie. The point is that, to make some more assumptions and to put it in your terms, I have already trained more properly than people of other ages and genders who are being given places denied to me. Don't you think fairness would be every class of age and gender at the same age rating level?


seren nos    pirate
13/05/2013 at 16:46

good for age.means in relation to other runners of your age and gender...........#

and Rob you just ain't good enough...

yes older runners might get in with a slower time than 3:30.( pensioners)...........but then they are good in conmparision to their peers.....

the same with females..........they can get in with a slower time becuase they are good compared to their peer group......

so you want that the fastest 40,000 get into the london marathon...........My guess id that you would still have to be faster than around 3:30 and it would be a complete nightmare as everyone would be the same pace and so there would be no room to move......

and no fancy dress for the crowds to see so once the elite had gone they would just go home as their is nothing as boring as watching a club runner running......not fast.not entertaining..

so i think you had better find a different sport to be under average in..........or maybe,,,,,,just maybe you could find another marathon

Cheerful Dave    pirate
13/05/2013 at 16:50

You mean the same age grading?  Wouldn't necessarily help you - a 49 year old woman needs to grade 69% for a GFA time of sub 3:50, which would be around 3:20 for a man of the same age.  Get to 50 and you'd still need 3:28 for the same age grade as a 50 year old woman getting sub 4.

But then 'fairness' is arguable anyway.  Maybe fairness would be equal numbers of men and women in the same age band, which would probably push the women's time out further (or cut the mens times).

If free entries to sponsors, volunteers (St Johns etc) didn't come with the package then they'd find it harder to get sponsors & volunteers.  It's not that many places in the scheme of things anyway - I would imagine that it's far fewer than the potential number of additional qualifiers they'd have by extending the times out to 3:30.

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