I also got that mail ☹ my "Plan B" is the 30km trail race near Stockholm called "Lidingöloppet" ut is one day before (or was it after?) Berlin Marathon 🙂
I do want to travel to a race again this year but I did not have a backup plan.
You could also try this, a friend of mine used this "route" last year. Usually these charity spots sell quite fast (from the email): "Donate and run! On December 5, 2018, we will open up 1,000 additional spots for 190 Euros as part of the RTL Donation Marathon for children in need. 65 Euros of the payment for those spots, which are limited at 1,000, will go directly to the RTL Donation Marathon."
Have considered Amerstdam, Marissa, and still considering. Have also considered the buy-your-way-in option, Claes. There are tour operators that have guaranteed entry as well, one operating in the greater Vancouver. I think I'm going to try the lottery again next year and/but save up for plan b. Berlin is the one I really want to run.