Today, TCS New York City Marathon will grant race entry to 16,211 runners through the lottery drawing. That is only 17% of all applicants. Put another way, that’s the same acceptance rate as getting into tough school like Williams College and even harder than getting into Georgetown University (18% acceptance rate) and Johns Hopkins University (18% acceptance rate).
Were you one of the lucky ones?
I have marathon entry through the New York Road Runners 9+1 program. That means in 2016, I ran 9 qualifying NYRR races and volunteered at one. It’s a sweet deal for New Yorkers who don’t want to chance it in the lottery.
The NYC marathon is a tough and surprisingly hilly course. It takes runners through all five boroughs. The course climbs over bridges and over hills most people didn’t know NYC even had. The crowd support is meant to be incredible. As a long time fan, I know I’ve stood in packs 5-people deep waiting for my friends to run by!
But if you don’t have entry and still want to run, you have two options:
- Run for charity. This is the most sure-fire way to get a bib if you missed out on the lottery. The NYC Marathon works with a large number of charities to secure bibs for those willing to raise a few thousand dollars (usually its around $2620). There are many charities to choose from, so hopefully you can find something you truly care about and raise them some buckaroos. Some organizations give you a bib in exchange for the donation and the relationship ends there. Others, like Team for Kids, grant you access to coached work outs and VIP treatment at the race start. On top of your donation, you still need to pay $255 for your race bib.
- Apply to be one of 17 runners selected through Power Bar’s “Clean Start” program. The folks at Power Bar are looking for runners with a great comeback story and they’d like to give you a fresh start. You must apply by April 12.
So will I see you on November 5 in Staten Island? Until then, excuse me as I bite my nails down to bare and stress eat all my first-time marathon nerves away.
While you’re here, enjoy these NYC Marathon posts: