LONDON MARATHON BALLOT! What to do when you get that NO!
It is that time of year again and we now know that it will be the 8th October 2018 when the emails and magazines start arriving!
As someone who has been applying for years I know all too well that it is most likely a no on the way but my message to you is do not PANIC!
This year over 414,000 runners applied for one of the most popular races in the world, I have read that only about 17,500 get ballot places so that’s something like a 4.2% chance! This means you should not be thinking anything other than a no is on its way. It is good to accept that now as the first year I applied and didn’t get a place in the ballot I was quite upset but looking back I now realise that it was a total waste of energy!
So before we get on to what to do when that NO comes let us first help the lucky few out! If you are one of the 4% congrats and now make sure you register and pay your fee as your place is only provisional until you secure it. Once you have done that pick a charity, if you do not have one close to your heart then go to the Virgin Money London Marathon Page and you can find a list of all the charities. Next step is to get your training plan, if this is your first marathon make sure you get a beginners training plan as some out there are quite hardcore and you will just end up getting injured! I will be publishing my training plan from last year for free on FordyRuns.com in a few weeks so join our mailing list now to get that when it comes out. After that get over to Facebook and join the Fordy Runs Facebook Running Community where you will get loads of support, tips and help from people who have done this event and/or in the same boat. Finally get yourself onto FordyRuns.com Store and buy your marathon training top to wear with pride so when you are out pounding that pavement everyone knows you are in training!
Now for the rest of us! With the date announced that we will be getting the ballot results you need to get to work NOW. Like I said you have got to accept that a no is coming and by doing that 1. You’ll be on cloud 9 if you do get a yes and 2. You can get ahead of the stampede and be prepared for when the horse trading starts on 8th October.
Get over to the London Marathon website and identify some charities you’d like to represent, this sounds horrible but look at the medium and small charities as the large ones will be well represented so do not waste time looking at those. Once you have identified some charities get on their websites and get in contact today about where they are at re marathon places. They will not have an exact number as they have to wait to see who will pick them from the ballot places but you can already register interest. Also and this is key get onto Twitter and Instagram and start following these charities, also get on Facebook and like the Charity page. Some of the charities have special Facebook pages for the London Marathon so see if you can join them already. The reason you are doing all this is because once the charities get an idea of how many spaces they have in the week of the 8th October they start posting that they have spaces and you want to make sure you get those notifications and emails about places that are available. You have to get to the front of the queue and that is what I did last year, Leonard Cheshire tweeted about places and within 30 seconds I had replied and secured my spot!
One word of caution taking a Gold bond space, it is a big commitment and you must be aware of the sponsorship pledge and in some respects raising the money is harder than the training but you always have to remember the lives you are changing by raising that money!
Another option if you just do not fancy the Gold bond place is to pick another spring marathon. There are some totally awesome marathons in April and May which are huge events and extremely well supported. I am running the ASICS Manchester Marathon this year. A lot of the guys in the Fordy Runs Facebook Running Community are running the Brighton Marathon and Edinburgh Marathon. There is also the Welsh, Belfast, Southampton, Stirling Scottish, Liverpool and MK marathons which are taking place so why not pick one of these?
If you do select to run one of the other Spring marathons then why not sign up to volunteer at the London Marathon or one of the others? They always need volunteers and you can give something back and still be apart of the day?
How about booking that weekend in London and organising a cheer station for your friends and family? I think I am more excited about organising the Fordy Runs cheer station for our all runners from our community than running the Manchester marathon! We are going to turn the London Marathon pink!
My last idea for you to get over the disappointment is to support one of your friends or family members who got a spot by helping them raise sponsorship and get out and train with them. Marathon training and raising that sponsorship is a daunting process so help out and be the driving force behind your friend or family member’s London Marathon journey!
Here are some cool links that may help:
VLM Charities - HERE
Possible Charity Places - HERE
Justgiving Charity Notifications - HERE
Gold, Silver Bond Holders and Charity Holders list - HERE
CRUNCH (list of Gold bond places) - HERE
Buy your Marathon Training Top - HERE
Fordy Runs Running Community - HERE
Thank you we really appreciate it!