Posted: 18/10/2016 at 09:47
i think the GFA times are about right now and because they are a little softer than some races like NYC they are all attainable with a good deal of effort and that encourages more people to run. Years ago i realised that just doing 30 miles a week was not enough for GFA and had to up my game. No matter what your current build, speed etc those times are all attainable - its just how much you really want it. I think too many are looking for the path of least resistance to getting a place. That said i do think it has become too much in favour of the charities, too many places and we are all held to ransom by the crazy fees they are charging. People will always run for charities and i do get sick of the bombardment you get if you get in under your own steam (GFA or ballot) - you are made to feel like an outcast if you just decide to run for yourself and your own personal achievement, I always maintain that it is starting to lose sight of it actually being a race, either against other runners or yourself (PB's).
The one thing i do hate is when races change the GFA times for the following year AFTER the previous race - as london did a few years ago - you train and race for a time only to find out weeks after that its 30 seconds outside as they then shift times. I know its their prerogative to do so but at least let us know in advance what we have to achieve on the race as a true reflection of the following year.
I love London and will always do it - its my home major and the atmosphere is great - but i go to run, to race against my PB, to push myself to the limit to see what i am capable of physically using the crowds to keep me pushing. That, combined with the 70+ miles a week commitment gets me GFA each year.
There are loads of other great races all around the UK and the World. I have 1 major to go then have the set. Brighton is fantastic, chester is good, Amsterdam is great and cheap to get there and run. Those missing out on ballots, get doing these other races, refine your running style, put in the miles and above all push yourselves to a place you don't think is possible. That was mindset for GFA. I agree London is an experience that is great but i get the same buzz in Chicago, Boston or Stoke and who knows, eventually you get that race 'craft' and endurance that is eventually needed to get GFA