Are you in or out? The entry ballot for the 2015 London Marathon opened at midnight and was full at 9:50 this morning – a new record, say the organisers.
I’m in. Rather than try at the stroke of midnight when the marathon website was turning into a pumpkin, I waited until this morning and entered at my leisure, remembering that last year’s ballot was still open at lunchtime.
I was a bit surprised, then, to notice that the ballot closed only a few minutes afterwards. Phew!
According to free newspaper Metro, last year over 130,000 people entered the ballot for 35,000 places, so presumably a similar number tried their luck this morning. The results of the ballot will be released in October.
If I’m successful in this year’s ballot, then 2015 will be my first time running the London Marathon. But I won’t be heartbroken or anything if I don’t get a ballot place. For one thing, there are tour operators and charities offering places, so if I want it badly enough I can get it. (Others who have run a speedy spring marathon this year may yet qualify as being Good For Age.)
Also, I enjoy watching the London Marathon on television so much that I might actually miss that if I’m running in it. A marathon abroad means I miss out on my home comforts and trusted preparation routines. And in October when the ballot results come out I’ll be so focused on the Dublin Marathon that month that I won’t have space in my head to think or care about any other race.
One person who’s already focused on next year’s London Marathon, reports the Guardian, is none other than Paula Radcliffe. The women’s world record holder and three-time London winner is apparently targeting the 2015 race as the swansong of her stellar career – and a comeback from her injury-plagued recent years.
At 41 and out of competition for years, the doyenne of British long-distance running would hardly be a serious challenger to win. That said, if it comes to pass then Radcliffe’s reappearance in 2015 would rank with Mo Farah’s two participations (or one-and-a-half, strictly speaking) as another media coup and crowd-puller for the London Marathon.
So, if you make it through the ballot that’s one rival you could be up against. And perhaps I’ll be another. Bring it on, baby!