Running against the odds

In the last 15 years, post London marathon I have always entered as soon as entries were live. Today I received the ‘commiserations’ email to say I was not lucky enough to get a place again.

I have run the London marathon 4 times, each time was through a charity place. I have been lucky enough to have raised over £15000 plus gift aid. Training for a marathon is tough and combining it with fundraising too makes it more of a challenge.

The London Marathon used to offer a system whereby after five years of rejections, a runner was guaranteed entry at the sixth attempt. This has now been scrapped, if this had remained in place over 70% of people who enter would fail to gain an entry in five attempts, so be eligible for an automatic place in 2021. If even a quarter persisted in applying, this would fill the entire race.

The problem is the demand for places vastly outstrips the supply. This year 17,000 places were made available to the general public, via a ballot of a record breaking 414,368 people. The odds of getting one are less than 6%.

I do wonder what the criteria is for getting a place through the ballot? I’ve known people only run London through getting a ballot place. I guess no system can please everyone.

So no London marathon, I know there are hundreds of marathons out there but London is so iconic. Having not run for ages due to life getting in the way. Time to get something entered to encourage my running mojo.


  1. Lisa Smyth says:

    Hard luck Gina. You should try the Comrades in South Africa one day.

    1. Gina says:

      Oooh that sounds interesting

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