I know what you’re thinking… isn’t this blog supposed to be about preparing for the Boston Marathon? Yes, it is, and I haven’t lost focus, just started to daydream… Ok well actually, it’s not so much a daydream as a reality if I so chose. Let me explain.
There’s a few ways of getting a guaranteed spot in the NYC Marathon.
- Do the 9+1 Program.
How it works: You become a NYRR member before January 31 of a given year, run nice races and volunteer for one that same year, and then the FOLLOWING year you have guaranteed entry. This means if you wanted to do the 2012 Marathon, you would have needed to register as a member at the beginning of this year, done your 9+1 (or finish them within the next 7 weeks!), and then you’d be eligible for 2012.
- Run for charity
- Be fast (I’ll get into how fast below)
- Enter the lottery three years in a row & get rejected each time — the fourth year you apply you’re in
- Run 15 NYC Marathons
- Cancel current guaranteed entry and postpone until following year
Like the Boston Marathon, however, too many guaranteed entries is becoming an issue as there is more and more competition. So to combat the thousands of people who “qualify,” NYRR is raising the standards. These are the changes starting next year:
- Do the 9+1 Program. √
- Run for charity √ (Although I’m sure the fundraising amount will be significantly higher)
- Be faster – For women ages 18-39, a qualifying marathon time was 3:23. It will now be 3:00.
Enter the lottery three years in a row & get rejected each time — the fourth year you apply you’re in Run 15 NYC Marathons Cancel current guaranteed entry and postpone until following year
There are exceptions to the last three, which you can read directly on the NYRR’s page, but for the most part unless you’ve already been working on doing them, you can kiss those options goodbye.
This brings me to why I’m even contemplating the NYC Marathon. My junior year of college, one of my best friends and I decided to enter the lottery. [Note:of course this is an option, but the likelihood of getting in is very low. They supposedly accept an equal amount of runners in three categories: runners from the tri-state area, nationwide runners, and international runners. ] We lived in Boston at the time so we thought it may help a little, but it didn’t. The 9+1 would be a great option if we lived in NYC, but as college students, we didn’t think traveling to NYC every month or so would be feasible. So the next year, we tried again. No dice. Earlier this year, I thought about doing the 9+1 since I now lived here, but I thought what the heck, if I apply this third year and don’t get in then I’m guaranteed in 2012. Needless to say, I didn’t win the lottery, so I have guaranteed entry for 2012!
Yes, I am training for Boston in the spring. Yes, I realize the NY would be six months later. Yes, I am crazy. But really, being in NYC for two marathons and not being able to participate has been so difficult! And I make the cutoff for this option, so if I don’t do it in 2012, I’m back to square one because I won’t be able to postpone anymore.
For experienced marathoners, how long do you usually wait until your next marathon? And for those who ran the NYC Marathon this past year, how did you get in?