Monday, 27 November 2006

A word about the Flora London Marathon entry procedure

I don't have to underline that I love the London Marathon. Since my first participation in 2000 I have returned every year and don't think about aborting this habit.

So I feel being entitled to complain about the procedure we have to undergo annually. The FLM's entry system really looks out-dated. This even more when regarding the London Marathon in a line with the other 4 World Marathon Majors (NYC, Chicago, Boston, Berlin).

All the others provide online entry and updated online information long since. While FLM still teases its applicants by forcing them to send forms and cheques. Then we have to wait for nearly 2 months to receive the ballot's result by conventional mail. The organisers stubbornly make a secret of their drawing system.

For overseas applicants it is even worse. There is a separate ballot for overseas runners but nowhere any official description of the procedure can be found. Overseas applicants have to pay the triple price of British applicants. Success rate of the overseas drawing is close to zero.

At least overseas runners have the chance to book a guaranteed place via a licensed travel agency. But numbers are very limited. E.g. Germany gets 300 places. Compare with the NYC marathon where Germans get 3000 numbers. To get to the point: NYC has 50% overseas runners, London has 7.5%!

Therefore I won't call London a World Marathon Major, it is still a British Marathon as long as this kind of entry policy is maintained.

By the way: I just discovered if you search for "london marathon" at you will get 2.2m results and my website is ranked number 1. Ahead of the official one which is number 2! :-)
At and it is still the other way round but I am working on it.

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