Virgin London Marathon 2017 ballot

As ‘ballot results week’ approached, chatter around the 2017 Virgin London Marathon started up in the office and on social media. Charities sent e-shot mailers out, wishing participants luck and asking for consideration in joining their teams as a charity entrant.

It was revealed that those who would not be taking part in the 2017 event would receive a magazine through the post with a picture of sad-looking runners embracing next to the words ‘Sorry’. Those who had been lucky enough to secure a place would receive a magazine with a photo of happy runners celebrating, captioned ‘You’re In!’

Virgin London Marathon 2017I moved house very quickly in early September due to an unexpected relationship breakup, and emailed the London Marathon organisers with details of my temporarily residence. I was informed that I had notified them too late so wouldn’t receive a magazine, and would instead have to telephone the customer care line two weeks after the magazine results had been posted to find out my fate. I don’t like surprises so wasn’t particularly happy with this decision, plus wondered whether I would still receive the famous ‘rejection’ running jacket if unsuccessful in the ballot.

On ‘ballot day’ itself and during the days which followed, I witnessed people around me receiving their magazines and expressing sadness and disappointment (extreme, in some cases), excited happiness, and discussions around charity places. I wondered with a knotted stomach whether or not I had been ‘successful’. (I don’t like that word in this context; it sounds like those who didn’t get in have somehow failed, at something they had literally no control over.)


Surprisingly, I received an email out of the blue towards the end of ‘ballot week’ and it stated as suspected: “Your application to run… has been unsuccessful”. I’m so disappointed, frustrated and have lost count of how many times I’ve entered – I’m guessing four or five – so now have a rather impressive collection of £40 running jackets in the closet! Talking of which – I phoned the London Marathon helpline to enquire as to whether they would post out a ‘rejection jacket’ to my new address, and was told to call back in a few weeks’ time to organise. A bit shoddy.

Virgin London Marathon 2017Readers of my blog will know that I’ve never run a marathon before, but would love to – I want to tick it off my bucket list and complete 26.2 miles before I turn 30. It’s such a huge achievement. My first choice is, and always will be, the London Marathon. I’ve always thought that if I ever ran a marathon, it will be at this event.

Running for charity isn’t an option; London Marathon fundraising targets are in the thousands and I’ve found that people aren’t overly generous any more (it’s always been a struggle begging for sponsorship), and having just moved house and ended a relationship, I can’t justify picking up any outstanding amount that I’m not able to fundraise. I do a huge amount for charity as it is.

So what happens next?

I’ll keep trying until I’m 30, then that’s it. Two more ballot entries to complete, and two more chances. I do believe in fate to a certain extent (although people use it as an excuse for laziness most of the time); so if it’s meant to be, it will be.





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