I have a place in London Cinders. Members of my running club help at the finish line every year. The finish team get 30 guaranteed places. There were 70 names in the hat and i came out 14th. About 5 or 6 others from my club also got places.
Mind you, 6 months later I did the Wokingham half in same weather conditions and got my worse time ever. The only reason i managed to finish then was because the sweep vehicle was right behind me for the last 4 miles.