london marathon

London Marathon Rejection

This week, the London Marathon sent out its rejection magazines and sadly one fell through my letter box.

I was expecting them to arrive like everyone else and was remaining optimistic. But also I had a sense of realism that the odds were very tough. A visit to the gym delayed me finding out and a text from my girlfriend hinted that something had arrived. I didn’t want to find out immediately as I was about to tackle a slow 60 minute treadmill run. It would not have helped motivation if I was rejected and I would have been distracted if I got accepted.

So, as I walked into the flat I instantly saw a package rather than just a magazine and instantly I knew. I had ticked the box that meant I would get a top if I was rejected so the result of my ballot was clear. Luckily I was prepared and although annoyed, understood that it could have happened. Plus the top was quite cosy!

The best thing about it was that I found out early and I could now go and think about which races I want to do in the future. I will talk about this in another blog.

I was very intrigued by the reaction on the London Marathon Facebook pages in the days following rejection announcements. There are some who have accepted the decision with good grace and understand the odds of getting a place. However, there are some who react with a touch more negativity.

Some complaints were that the charities are outrageous for setting such high fundraising targets. My view on this is that the charities are trying to maximise their fundraising and if there is a demand for places and people are willing to raise a large amount of funds in an event then why shouldn’t they set the bar a bit higher.

Some were being negative about the good-for-age slots and believe you have to be fast to get into the marathon. Yes they offer good-for- age places and I think this is a great reward for those who manage to achieve them. I really hope that I am able to achieve the required standard in the future and get into the London Marathon on merit rather than relying on ballots.

There was also lots of comments about how to improve the ballot system. In previous years, there was a rule where if you were rejected for 5 continuous years then you would finally get automatic entry. I am led to believe that as a result of its own success this is no longer possible because it is mathematically possible. One interesting idea was to put make a rule so that once you get a place on the ballot once, you are then unable to enter the ballot for 3 consecutive years to allow other people a chance to gain entry. It could possibly work but the aim of the event is to make money and give charities a chance to raise money and the best way to do this is to keep interest in entering the event as high as possible each year.

Ultimately there are lots of people out there who would love to run the London Marathon but this also means there is not the possibility for everyone to do it when they want. All of us who enter the ballot have equal chance of getting in and when we don’t then we have to make other plans or try again next time. For me, the rejection only makes the desire to run it again stronger. I am thankful that I have had the chance to run it once but would love to make a return one day, but I would love it even more if i was able to earn my place on the starting line, either through good-for-age or through my fundraising efforts. Visit their website here for more information

As always, there are other marathons and this is not the only one. I would definitely recommend Edinburgh Marathon Festival ( and you can read my blog about it here.

Did you get into London Marathon? How did you handle rejection? What are your alternatives this year?