Why VLM rejection isn't such a bad thing
By now, the magazine has arrived on your doorstep. You've opened it up, and a runner dressed as Elvis tells you 'Thank you very much, but no thank you very much' - you haven't got into London.
Every year the London Marathon is oversubscribed by 6 or 7 to 1, and only a small handful of those lucky entrants are ballot runners. All the masses of thousands who you see on the telly at Blackheath, those lucky ones, they're running for charity.
So you think about running for charity, and the thought of committing to almost two-grand's worth of fundraising seems like a big ask, particularly if you've been down that route in the recent past.
In the cold light of day, you didn't want to run it anyway (or at least, that's what you'd like to be convinced of right now). So here are some reasons why it's no bad thing. There are plenty of things that make it a great race, but that's for another day.
It's not the only marathon.
There isn't a weekend goes by when there isn't at least one marathon going on somewhere in Britain. Most weekends it's possible to run two or three on consecutive days. You can find a marathon much nearer to home, without the need to travel, where a huge group of your friends and family can cheer you on. And you'll be supporting athletics locally, rather than a big company.
It's not the hardest
Despite what TV commentators might have you believe, it's not the hardest marathon. Not by a long chalk. All marathons are hard - but London's relatively flat compared to, say, Yorkshire or Scotland.
It's not ideal if you're raising money for charity
Yes, in terms of participation and money raised, London probably is the biggest single-day fundraising event in the UK. But think about it for a minute. Before London, everyone knows someone who is running it. Every newspaper devotes space to fundraisers. Every office has a sponsor form up. So everyone who is running it for charity is competing for the same finite pot of money. There are several other races which have the same level of support for charity runners, but are not at the same time of year. A September marathon might raise more (and will certainly compete against all those Great North Runners). And if you can run a local marathon for a local charity, so much the better.
It's not pretty
So, London has its charms, but with the best will in the world, 12 miles around Deptford and Peckham followed by six miles around the foot of Canary Wharf isn't the height of beauty. And by the time you're at the Tower, you're spent! Paris, on the other hand, runs right through the city centre and you get to see, literally, everything. There are plenty of other big city marathon with far more attractive routes.
It's a dear do
London's cheap to enter in comparison with, say, Brighton, which costs about twice as much. But London knows that the marathon's on, and London does what it does best - squeezing every last penny out of visitors. So by the time you've totalled up accommodation, transport to the start (and the Expo) from however far away you're having to stay, food for the weekend, a pint at Chandos afterwards, plus the same for the family, it soon mounts up. You could have a week away, run a marathon and then relax on some exotic beach for less.
So, while you're still reeling from your rejection, get the magazines out. Get on the internet. Get on Fetch more to the point. Find the perfect marathon for you.
|3||Brighton Marathon||15th Apr||218|
|4||Edinburgh Marathon||27th May||164|
|6||Greater Manchester Marathon||29th Apr||137|
|8||Milton Keynes Marathon||29th Apr||127|
|18||Abingdon Marathon||21st Oct||90|
|21||MBNA Chester Marathon||7th Oct||88|
|31||Snowdonia Marathon||27th Oct||73|
|35||Beachy Head Marathon||27th Oct||68|
|38||Baxters Loch Ness Marathon||30th Sep||64|
|39||Halstead & Essex Marathon||13th May||63|
|44||Run Liverpool Marathon||14th Oct||59|
|46||Berlin Marathon||30th Sep||59|
Fetch Everyone Running Club
Join our UKA-affiliated club for event discounts, London Marathon ballot places, the chance to get funded for coaching qualifications, and a warm feeling inside. Click here for more
Annual Distance Targets
Set your run, bike, swim and walk goals and monitor your progress against your friends. Set your targets
See the fastest portions from all your training runs. Filter by time to give you recent bests to aim at. Every distance from 400m to marathon. View my benchmarks
Open Water Swimming
Help us build a database of open water swimming locations (wild and commercial), by adding your local venues. See the map
A new shareable infographic showing a colourful breakdown of the intensity that you train at. Check your month
Catch up with who's been training today. Categorised by distance so you can compare like with like. And filterable to just people you follow, or members of your club See Today's Feed