There is no doubt about it. Getting a ballot place in the London Marathon seems to be a lottery win. With 125,000 applicants competing for some 20-25,000 places, the chances really are against one (I could not find the exact figure for ballot places available, but this seems to be the prevailing number). This makes the odds for securing a place 1:5, at best. Although no one knows for sure what the exact ballot process for selection is, forums are rampant with runners raging about how they have been rejected year after year.
I applied for a 2012 ballot place, only to receive a predictable rejection. I missed out on applying for 2013 and then again applied for 2014. As the ballot closes once 125,000 applications have been received, in some 11 hours this year(!), I logged on before 07:00 hrs in April 2013 and got my application in. A few months passed.
On the morning of 26th of September 2013, I became aware that magazines were being sent out by Virgin London Marathon, either to confirm acceptance in the 2014 marathon (YOU’RE IN!), or for rejection (SORRY!). I knew the chances were against be. I went downstairs to find my magazine waiting for me, flipped it over and could see through the packaging the magical words, “YOU’RE IN!”.
Now I seldom get overly excited about things, but this really did put a smile on my face… Let the training begin! Although I have completed several 10k runs and run the equivalent of half-marathons during my own training runs (13.1 miles), never have I attempted a full marathon. This will definitely be an amazing journey, which I may write about from time-to-time. In the mean time I will be celebrating my success in securing a ballot place by going for a run!!