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Friday 19 October 2012

Rejected for London Marathon Twice in 2 Months ...

I crossed the line at Liverpool Marathon and looked up and saw the time: 3:46:19. I couldn’t quite believe that after the struggle of Parliament Street and the emotion of last few miles I had made it home in the 3 hour 40s ... I was thrilled and overwhelmed and exhausted.

I walked forward and received my medal, race t-shirt, Clif bar and other lovely goodies and went to find a place to do my stretches and then sit down. I was all swept up in the moment and speaking to the other runners and spectators around me, all of us congratulating each other on completing such a big thing. I was FINALLY a marathon runner.

Birkenhead Park 2 hours before the start

Later on when I received a text from the organisers confirming my chip time of 3:45:11 I was thrilled. Absolutely thrilled to be so close to my (secret!) target time of 3 hours 45. But I was also a little bit disappointed that I didn’t make the London Marathon Good For Age cut off time of 3 hours 45 minutes. Getting a Good For Age (GFA) means that you don’t have to go through the lottery of the ballot – you automatically get allocated a place.

It sounds ridiculous. I know it does. It was my first marathon, I couldn’t possibly have hoped for a better time – I honestly was ecstatic. But the little secret part of me – the Evil Sarah that sits on my shoulder that always tells me what I’ve done wrong - whispered to me that I’d missed the cut off by 11 seconds.

I’d applied for the London Marathon by ballot for 3 years – it was applied for me on my behalf even BEFORE I started running! – and I’ve never got through. My name wasn’t picked out of the imaginary hat and I’d been rejected every year. And now I’d missed the ‘Good For Age’ time by 11 SECONDS. Rejected again.

It wasn’t a big thing, not even a big disappointment, but it was a little niggle that I’d missed it by such a small amount. Although ...I had to admit to be a little bit relieved as well. Maybe I ought to start by trying to walk again before pining for another marathon place …

Later on as I lay in my bath – cold first of all to soothe the sore legs, then hot water added to warm up for the rest of me – I chatted to my running buddies on Twitter. They have been great – absolutely fantastic and it was amazing to have their support and to share the same worries and nerves before the race.

I mentioned that I’d missed the London Marathon cut off but @goniah tweeted me … she said but you did make it – the cut off is 3 hours 50 minutes …

Not allowed to hang these up to retire just yet ...

Well, it looks as though I’m going to have to stop moaning about sore feet, blisters and walking like John Wayne because it sounds as though I’m going to be doing it all over again in 2014 … WOO HOO!!!!! 

(Gets up to do victory dance then realises legs too sore and sits down again)


  1. 3:45:11????? You friggin' rockstar. Now bring on London, ey?!

  2. That time is awesome, Manchester awaits!!!! no excuses

  3. Hee hee! Thanks Jen!! I'm so looking forward to London! p.s. can I use that description of myself officially now? :)

  4. Thanks Paul!! As my feet and legs get less sore, Manchester is looking more and more appealing. (I must need my head examined!!) :) Jen - you fancy Manchester Marathon too? It sounds as though you've got the half maras sorted!!