Well said Screama, we all make choices in life and those choices either improve or negate any work life balance we strive for.
in regards of charity places , I'm with the majority and this extends to all race entries, if you want the entry bad enough you'll do whatever it takes to bag that entry, if that's gaining a GFA time, sucking it up and raising the cash for a charity place, or waiting until the odds work in your favour and you gain a place in the ballot.
For me the charity runners and the elites are the focus of the London marathon and especially without the charity runners london would not have the same appeal.
Strunner, good luck with that! I can only guess they had a consultation on moving from open to balloted entry, for me a 2:1 ballot is pretty fair and as a world major I'm sure this ration will continue to increase. good luck on your campaign.