I think as a first marathon, London is far less intimidating then some others. Loads of water station, huge crowd, loads of runners of all levels.
It took me a good few years to have the confidence to enter a smaller marathon (Halstead). I was fine. But a novice may have found the lack of water stations and crowds and the very low key start a bit off-putting.
I have a love hate relation ship with the ballot. I once got in 3 years in a row but nothing before or since. But as it is my local marathon, I will persevere.
LOL at the idea of the VLM looking at your track and printing it off before handing you a medal! Imagine the queues!
There is a possibility they would use the track to disqualify people after the event - but even that possibility is remote as they've been sluggish to disqualify people who blatantly jumped the barriers near halfway before.