As you know each year I send you a bit of a love letter to thank you for considering me for inclusion in your fun run. This year is no different but I’m going to add my usual slice of opinion and annoyance because I’ve applied 6 times now and had the same amount of rejections.
I know you’re a big marathon with lots of people wanting space, I also understand you’ve got thousands of charitable places raising money for good causes, I also understand you’ve got a reputation to protect.
…there’s some problems, the London Marathon is becoming less about racing and more about raising money.
I often attend the race as a spectator and watch the spectacle of people darting between each other when actually they should be into a rhythm, a good well paced stride and what they are darting around often are the undertrained or the fun runners and even the walkers. Now I wouldn’t want to deter these people from competing in a marathon like this – it is after all ‘THE MARATHON’ but perhaps this race now needs to be run on two separate days, same day big gap between or twice a year – one for the ones who want to race the London Marathon and a second for those that want to raise money. Or perhaps it simply needs qualifying criteria to weed out those who don’t do the training – run a local UK (or your country of residence) marathon in the year before your VMLM attempt. This has the dual benefits of getting people ready for their special day but also supports the hundreds of other marathons that are put on around the country.
Ultimately I’m just jealous that I’ve applied so many times and never gotten in through a ballot place and that this year first time applicant accepted rates where at an all time high. Rather galling.
I also really don’t want to have to raise money (in the thousands of pounds) to run 26.2miles for one of the charities – to me that doesn’t seem fair, perhaps if it was 262 miles or 10 marathons in 10 days then I’d look to raise money but why should I harass people because I want to do the London Marathon. I run marathon distances regularly, I do it for fun, I do it for me, it’s me time and the London Marathon would be awesome to do but not under the conditions it currently offers.
On a final note VMLM I’ll say this, last week I entered the Isle of Skye Ultra Marathon – 74miles, £80, maximum 75 competitors, no fundraising involved, hassle free and an experience I’m hoping I’ll never forget. I’d like to one day say the same about your race so I’ll keep applying but unlike with Skye or any of the other races I do I won’t hold out any hope.
PS. Why do you wait until October to let us know if we’ve got a place? That’s really fucking annoying as it makes early planning much more difficult.
PPS. As I stated I’m just jealous and congratulations to everyone who has ever run it, attempted it, will attempt it – you’re all awesome but the organisers perhaps need a bit of a rethink now running is at an all time high of popularity