1 – London Marathon
So yesterday was the opening of the Virgin London Marathon 2014 ballot…and also the closing.
The limit of 125,000 applications was reached in a record 11.5 hours at an astounding 3 applications per second! The ballot opened shortly after midnight and was closed again before lunchtime. I’m glad I got my application in the moment I woke up. I’m in the mix, now for the tricky part of spending the next 6 months clumsily trying to get on with life whilst keeping my fingers permanently crossed!
There’s been a huge amount of backlash on social media since yesterday lunchtime, about how the ballot system isn’t ‘fair’. It seems people are upset because they expected to able to apply after work/on Tuesday/sometime next week and it’s everyone else’s fault they can’t. I’ve seen some quite heated debates about people who “have a job and can’t spend all day on the internet”. My response to them all is simple: In this age of multimedia tvs/technology/smartphones we are all exposed to the internet all day, every day. If you couldn’t make arrangements to spend 3 minutes before work applying or you didn’t think it worth staying up watching Family Guy until midnight on Sunday to apply or if you didn’t ask your mum/girlfriend/best mate/landlord/highly trained pet dog to log on and do it for you…if given the obvious huge demand fuelled by world events and the buzz around marathon running, if you hadn’t checked the time the ballot opens to make sure you were there ready to apply…if you hadn’t done these essentially very simple and quick things then I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you would do 16 weeks of structured, intense, time-consuming training to make the most of the opportunity of running the streets of London.
That may not be a popular opinion, especially with those ‘denied’ a chance in the ballot due to the ‘unfair’ system. But the 125,000 people that did make the effort deserve our chances and I wish them all luck…just slightly less luck than me!
2 – Brighton Marathon
I was having a huge internal debate about the wisdom of entering the Brighton Marathon. It’s not like I’m desperate to put myself through that agony regularly, it is very expensive (£60!) and if I do get a London place then I’m really screwed…entering Brighton would be a silly thing to do…
…and then my inner runner got involved in the debate.
My running club, Almost Athletes, now has well over 30 runners entered in the race. Not only that, they are working to organise a restaurant booking or us all on the Saturday night, so it will be possibly the most sociable marathon ever! I tried to resist, but in the end the opportunity to run a marathon with my club was too great to turn down.
So what happens if I’m lucky enough to land a place in London as well? Simple, I will run them both and make 2014 the year I focus on going long! Maybe that 100 mile Cotswold Way run just got a step closer…