Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Elusive NYC Marathon Entry

Elusive NYC Marathon Entry

While Boston is the Mecca (or the Kasi or the Jerusalem) of marathons, New York City marathon is perhaps the most iconic and coveted in the world.  Both are part of world marathon majors and very popular amongst marathoners.

Boston is tough to get in.  There are stringent qualifying criteria tied to age / time.   One must have run a qualifying race within the age / time limit to even  qualify to enter the lottery.  I didn't even have an outside chance of qualifying for Boston and the charity route in 2012 to run that oldest modern marathon.

But New York marathon is entry is proving to be tougher even though there is no such qualifying criteria.  Also, NYC takes in more runners than Boston, about 17,000 more.  While the cap at Boston is around 33,000, NYC takes in about 50,000.  Still, I have not been able to crack the NYC lottery for three years in a row.

I was looking forward to running NYC marathon this year as it would knock off one more marathon from my bucket list and give the satisfaction of having run all of the world marathon majors.  But, the 'reject' mail landed quietly in my inbox around 8:20 AM this morning, deflating me a little bit.

Till last year, NYC used to give automatic entry if one has been rejected 3 years in a row.  But, that option is no longer available.  So, there is no guarantee that I will get in next year and moreover, I don't want to wait till 2016 to tick off NYC.

Now its time to try other options..

Photo courtesy - Bloomberg.com
There are still a few options left and I will be pursuing them..

  1. Sponsor route - Work with the sponsors to see if they will give me one of the slots reserved for them.
  2. Travel Agencies - Get a guaranteed entry by working with one of the official travel agencies.  Some of my friends took this route to Chicago last year.  Though there is a slight premium for this service, it works well.
  3. Charity route - Raise funds for a worthy cause and get a confirmed slot.
I will be working all these options and hopeful of one of them clicking.  Still, so looking forward to running in the big apple..