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What to Do if You Don’t Get Into the London Marathon Ballot

So, you didn’t get into the London Marathon through the ballot. That’s tough, but don’t hang up your running shoes just yet! While the ballot process is notoriously competitive, there are several other ways to secure your spot in this iconic race, along with alternative running goals to keep your motivation high. Here’s a guide on what to do next:

1. Consider Charity Places

One of the most popular ways to still get a spot in the London Marathon is through a charity place. Many charitable organizations have allocated places for the marathon. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Choose a Charity

    • Find a cause you’re passionate about. This will make the fundraising process more meaningful and enjoyable.

  • Apply Early

    • Charity places fill up quickly, so it’s essential to apply as soon as possible. Check the charity’s website or contact them directly for application details.

  • Fundraising Commitment

    • Be aware that securing a charity place usually requires a commitment to raise a certain amount of money. This can be a substantial amount, so ensure you’re ready for the challenge.


2. Try for a Good For Age (GFA) Entry

If you’re a seasoned runner with impressive race times, you might qualify for a Good For Age entry. The criteria are based on your age and gender, and you need to have completed a marathon within a specific time frame.

  • Check the Requirements

    • Visit the official London Marathon website to see the qualifying times for your age group.

  • Train and Qualify

    • If you’re close to the qualifying time, consider training specifically to hit that target in a certified marathon race. London Marathon coaching can be incredibly beneficial in helping you achieve these times. It’s a challenging but rewarding goal.


3. Join an Athletics or a Running Club

Athletics and running clubs often receive a limited number of marathon entries. Being an active member of a running club can increase your chances of being selected for one of these spots.

  • Find a Local Club

    • Research local running clubs in your area and consider joining one. Not only will this improve your chances of getting a marathon place, but it will also provide you with a supportive community and structured training sessions.

  • Participate and Engage

    • Get involved in club activities and races. The more active you are, the better your chances of being chosen for a marathon spot.


4. Enter Other Marathons

If the London Marathon is out of reach this year, why not consider other marathons? There are numerous fantastic races around the UK and abroad that offer unique experiences.

  • Explore Other Options

    • Look into marathons in other major cities like Edinburgh, Manchester, or Brighton. Each has its charm and can be a great alternative.

  • Plan a Destination Marathon

    • Combine your love of travel and running by entering a marathon in another country. This can turn into an exciting adventure and a memorable race experience.


5. Stay Motivated and Keep Training

Not getting into the London Marathon can be disheartening, but it’s essential to stay motivated and continue training. Set new running goals to keep your spirits high.

  • Join Smaller Races

    • Participate in local 10Ks, half marathons, or even trail runs. These races can keep you motivated and improve your fitness for future marathon attempts.

  • Set Personal Goals

    • Set personal running goals such as improving your pace, running a certain number of miles per week, or tackling a challenging route. Engaging with a London Marathon coach can help tailor a training plan specific to your needs and aspirations.

  • Reapply Next Year

    • Remember, the London Marathon ballot is an annual event. Keep applying each year, as persistence can eventually pay off.


London Marathon Coaching

Engaging with a PGC1-Coaching coach can make a significant difference in your preparation and performance. Personalized coaching can provide you with tailored training plans, expert advice, and the motivation needed to achieve your marathon goals.

  • Benefits of PGC1-Coaching:

    • Personalized Training Plans: Customized to your fitness level, goals, and schedule.

    • Expert Advice: Professional insights into running techniques, nutrition, and injury prevention.

    • Motivation and Accountability: Regular check-ins and support to keep you on track.


Final Thoughts

Missing out on the London Marathon ballot can be a setback, but it doesn’t mean the end of your marathon dreams. With various options like charity places, GFA entries, running club allocations, and alternative marathons, there’s always a way forward. Stay positive, keep training, and who knows? Next year might be your year to conquer the streets of London.

Happy running!


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