Andrew G how could you start a race with the attitude of "I'll just drop out" why start in the first place ?
I once turned up with this possibility.
Forgive me laying out some background to explain why it wasn't the craziest decision for me at the time.
Old Marlow championship worked like this
15-18 events a year, split in overall, road, 5k and xc
To win the road, 5k, or xc you had no choice but to do every race in the category. You could still win overall missing the odd race, but couldn't win the individual stuff.
Points scoring was madness looking back. 11 points for last runner home, increasing by a point for each scorer. Massive massive flaw in this, was that for 5ks in the summer you might have 40 runners, whereas some xc or road events you might have 4. so someone could get the same points for coming first in the latter, as the person coming about 35th in a 5k!
If you dropped out midrace, you got the "Last scorer" points.
One road race, I turned up with a fever. I didn't want to waste the year's road racing efforts and automatically come outside the top 3 by missing a race, so vowed to start, and worst case (if my mate overtook me!!) drop out, and get the 11 points at least.
in the end I somehow managed to get round and not too far off normal anyway. Although "Normal" at the time was actually what I was doing MT hilly 10ks in! And this was a flat road race, so probably more obviously off pace then I realised at the time.
The points system was retweaked after that season, so that it started the other way round. 1st home got "top points" as in 30 or 40 ( I forget now), and then it filtered down by 1. That way you weren't punished for doing the lesser well attended races.
** I retweaked the system even more before I left, to stop runners having to do every race to win a category. So instead of needing say 5 from 5, it became say 4 from 6. Much fairer, and not over rewarding turn up over speed.
I did look back in dismay the following year to see they were doing nonsense like santa 5ks, parkruns and races with 3 different distances, but had to let it go.
AG - it'll be an interesting experiment in case anyone else is curious.
7.03 average to break 3.05. In a race that will most likely feel super slow, but then would you still need to have at least sampled what 18-22miles feels yourself first?
Any idea when you need to have lodged a GFA time to qualify for London?
I'm sure for championship start it stretches at least until November, as I've seen plenty use Gosport and even Marlow (!) to try to get the sub 1hr 15!
One last question, before I get too drawn into all this nonsense distance stuff, if you qualify in the ballot (which I believe only opens for about a week), when do you actually hear if you're in? And do you quote what time you'll "probably" race it in, or do they just stash you amongst the pack?