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How the NYC Marathon Works

        Adventure | Marathons

New York City Marathon Entry

Winning the NYC Marathon is often the defining moment of a distance runner's life. Perhaps that's why it's so tough to gain entry. As many as 90,000 applicants apply for a spot in the race each year. With only 38,000 spots, not everyone gets in.

The lottery application gives anyone over the age of 18 (by race day) a chance to run the race. Applicants must submit their application before the deadline (in 2010 it was March 15). From there, NYRR draws entrants at random.

If you don't want to leave your NYC Marathon fate to chance, you can opt for one of several guaranteed entry options. As of 2010, applicants who fell into one of several groups were granted entry. The criteria are outlined as followed:

  • NYRR members chartered on or before Jan. 31, 2009, who completed at least nine NYRR-scored qualifying races and have volunteered for one event during the past calendar year or donated $1,000 to a NYRR-supported charity
  • Entered runners who canceled prior to the 2009 NYC Marathon
  • Veteran participants of at least 15 NYC Marathons
  • Applicants who were denied entry the previous three years and did not gain entry through any other method [source: ING NYC Marathon]

The following chart details the times you need to shoot for in qualifying races. It's also important to note these times must be verified by the NYRR:


Open (Age 18-39)

 

Masters (40+)

 

 

Marathon

Half-Marathon

Marathon

Half-Marathon

Men

2:55:00

1:23:00

3:10:00

1:30:00

Women

3:23:00

1:37:00

3:38:00

1:44:00

 





 

Veterans (50+)

 

Veterans (60+)


 

Marathon

Half-Marathon



Men

3:30:00

1:40:00

3:45:00

1:48:00

Women

3:52:00

1:50:00

4:13:00

2:00:30

 





 

Veterans (70+)




 

Marathon

Half-Marathon



Men

4:00:00

1:55:00



Women

4:35:00

2:11:00



 

[source: ING NYC Marathon]


Raising money for a prescribed charity offers runners an additional opportunity to be admitted to the NYC Marathon. Those charities are outlined each year in advance.

Foreign athletes can also gain guaranteed entry by going through an official international travel partner. Handcyclists are not allowed entry through this method though.

Fees are the same for both lottery and guaranteed applicants. For the 2010 race, everyone applying paid $11 for processing and one of three entry fees. U.S. residents paid $185 while NYRR members received a discount and paid $149. Non-U.S. residents paid $265 [source: ING NYC Marathon].

Once you've secured a spot in the NYC Marathon, it's a good idea to learn the course. As you'll see in the next section, it's one of the most unique of all marathons.


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