Have you ever really wanted to enter a running race, only to find out that demand for places hugely outstripped supply leading to an undignified scramble to get your credit card details into the computer on the day online entry opens before the site crashes?

sold out

Are you one of the thousands who enters the ballot for the London Marathon each year, only to be disappointed a few months later when yet another rejection letter arrives?

Or perhaps as a regular runner, you get frustrated by those who enter the event you want to do, and then feel angry when those same people fail to train for it or even not turn up at all?

As big races become more popular, entries are often sold within hours of going online some six months before race day.  You often need to know your fitness, work and social plans half a year ahead in order to fit the race into your calendar.  Is it any wonder that so many people enter races, effectively gambling c.£50 on something they may or may not choose to do later in the year.  And then pull out either through unforeseen injury, or simply because their plans have changed, or even because they can no longer be bothered.  As Tony (he of “Tony’s Trials” from Marathon Talk) succintly points out this week, the fact that many races don’t allow free number swaps, then many will just enter and can afford to simply forfeit the fee if it transpires that they can’t do the event come race day for whatever reason.

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