12
Feb
11

A Beautiful Sight: Guaranteed Entry in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon

There are five marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors: Boston, New York, Chicago, London, and Berlin. Among these five marathons, one stands out as a king. New York. Boston may be the oldest and arguably the hardest to get into (run for charity or run fast), but for sheer scope, scenery, and crowd nothing beats the New York City Marathon. Therefore, you can understand why I was happy when I saw this:

Guaranteed Entry for the 2011 ING New York City Marathon

For those not familiar with the race, there are multiple ways you can run the race. Most people can enter a lottery. This is a huge long shot — only 8-12% of lottery applications will gain entrance to the marathon. I think that’s a little optimistic, but it is how I managed to run the NYC Marathon in 2009, shortly after I moved here.

Other routes are to book an international tour through an approved travel agency. These are usually pretty expensive, but hey, it’s the race of a lifetime. If you’re really fast, as in 2:55 marathon fast (15 minutes FASTER than Boston), you get guaranteed entry, as do people who have run 15 or more NYC marathons and those rejected the last three years. You can also run for a charity.

However, my method was much easier and better for me. The New York Road Runners offer a program called 9+1. Run nine races and volunteer for one and you get guaranteed entry into the next year’s marathon. Many runners have no problems hitting nine races — you can do it by May with no problem (as idiotrunner demonstrates). Volunteering is a bit more interesting. At the end of the year there is always a real push to volunteer. I talked to one runner who was going to volunteer at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run this past winter only to have her flight cancelled because of the storm and miss her chance for the marathon because of not volunteering. Contrast this with the races early in the year where there are numerous spots that go unfilled. I volunteered for the 2011 Fred Lebow challenge and there were four people to cover the entire west side of the park. Two of us at the 102nd St transverse and two more at 72nd st. We certainly could have used more people. Get your volunteering in early and make the NYRR a better organization!

In any case, I’m really stoked about doing two marathons this fall. Chicago in October and New York in November. Please don’t tell my legs yet, okay? In 2009 I did similar spacing for Twin Cities and New York and neither was spectacular. I’m sure it will be much better this time.

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Marathon Times

2011 NYC Marathon3:57:45
2011 Hartford Marathon3:58:17
2011 Chicago Marathon4:20:16
2011 Grandma's Marathon4:07:43
2010 Big Sur International Marathon4:22:49
2009 NYC Marathon4:37:05
2009 Twin Cities Marathon4:43:28
2009 Pittsburgh Marathon4:14:38
2008 Erie Marathon5:11:40

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