Lied to, cheated & deflated – a VLM GFA story

“If you’re betrayed, release disappointment at once.By that way, the bitterness has no time to take root.” ― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

April 7th 2013 & the blackpool marathon. I entered the race in january, drew up a training plan hoped to get in 2:49:00 shape but illness, 2 bouts of it meant I  had to reassess my goals. A 1:23.36 hilly half  marathon  3 weeks out gave me a predicted time of between 2:55.00 – 3hr. so goals became :-

A – 2:55.00
B – sub 3hr
C – 3:09.59 & GFA for VLM2014

Then with 2 weeks to go I caught a cold meaning I didn’t run any kind of essential intensity  sessions and was going in to Blackpool on the back of 12miles in 14days. 

Race day all was fine, comfortably running at 6:50mm pace until mile 21 where It all started to go wrong. I didnt hit the wall, fat adapted  i still had the energy but my legs lost turnover then at around 23.5miles my left hamstring started to cramp. I kept going and managed to cross in 3:06.50.

That meant goal C achieved. GFA entry for VLM2014. I was disappointed to not achieve sub 3 but was still happy. No ballot for me (or so I thought)

I watched this year the masses start thinking that will be me next year. I phoned the helpline and asked if a photocopy of the results would do. I also asked if the GFA times would change.

The woman said “100% they are NOT going to change”

  I eagerly waited for Monday 29th April for when the entry details were posted. I decided to relax, leave it till the ballot had closed then look what they said about entering through the GFA process. I decided at 8am to check anyway, It was then my world, day & mood sank. 18-40 sub 3:05!    WHAT!!!!!!

I’ve entered the ballot but I am disappointed & disgusted at being lied to & having to wait till October to find out if I will gain a place. Now let me put this straight.  I am not angry about them changing the times, that I understand,  what I am angry about is the lack of notification and chance to run another.  When Boston changed their times they gave a years notice.  That is what London should have done. The excuse of examining 2013 results is unacceptable. Surely the 2012 results would have given all the facts they needed and they could have released the new times in October 2013 giving people more time to prepare. I will admit there are people who took it easy, ran a comfortable sub 3:10.00 but there are also people like myself who gave blood, sweat and tears to run times that they thought would get them in VLM2014. I had 3 weeks of walking on air only to be destroyed by the decision the organisers have made. Facebook, Twitter and many running forums are full of runners, 2:26.00-5hrs supporting us. I have it at 98% against the organisers. The mood is that of anger, disappointment and despair.

Personally i think the VLM organiser’s should have a rethink, introduce the new times from 2015 and let the mens 18-40 3:05.01 – 3:10.00 & female finishers who are also missing out run in 2014. Give us opportunity to run the new times. In my case it would have to be sub 3hr.

I wont hold my breath, I will wait for October’s ballot announcements and , if unsuccessful look at other 2014 spring marathons. Perhaps even Blackpool again.

If anyone agrees with me please sign this petition

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Give_the_London_marathon_good_for_age_times_one_year_grace/

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