Thursday, November 03, 2011
Changes to the New York City Marathon...
The current limit for registered runners is 60,000 and amazingly enough, approx 13,000 are not expected to be at the start line due to injuries and a whole host of other reasons. Fewer than 2,000 people who start the race won't finish.
Even with a limit of 60,000 entrants, there was still a lottery system to get in. They had a system whereby after 3 failed attempts, you got a guaranteed entry the next time. The problem however was that too many people were qualifying for the guaranteed entry.
One proposed radical solution is to hold the event over 2 days! i.e. One Marathon on the Saturday and one Marathon on the Sunday. Mary Wittenberg, race director and president of New York Road Runners said.."The demand is there. When I started (in 1998), there was a feeling that the marathon absolutely can't grow anymore. But I don't think growth is capped. People desperately want to run this race. The Road Runners and city advisors have had initial discussions about this idea, along with other plans for expansion. We can grow until we run out of hotel capacity, there's no rush. We won't ever have more than we can handle. We want to put on the best possible race. This is a joint venture with the city, and it is always a cooperative decision."
While the 2 day option might be some time in the future, the organisers have decided to implement the following changes...
•No more guaranteed entries after being denied in the lottery three times. Now, in theory, you could enter the lottery every year for the rest of your life and possibly never get in. However, if 2011 was your second or third year of being denied, you will be eligible for the 2012 or 2013 (if you're denied next year) races.
•No more guaranteed entries for 15+ time NYC Marathoners, except for those who've run the race 15+ times before the 2016 race. They're discontinuing the policy, but they're grandfathering in all runners who've completed the race 15 times up to and including the 2015 race. In other words, if you've already run the race 15 times, you'll always have guaranteed entry. If this year's race will be your 11th NYC Marathon, and you run in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, you'll always have guaranteed entry. If this year's race will be your 10th (or less) NYC Marathon, you're out of luck.
•Standards for guaranteed entry based on previous race times will be stricter.The open marathon qualifying time for men, which had been 2:55, will become 2:45, and for women, the time will drop from 3:23 to 3:00. The complete chart of time changes can be seen below. Since qualifying has already begun for 2012, these changes will take effect in 2013.
•You can only cancel entry and defer to the following year once. Previously, if a person were injured, they could defer to the following year as many times as needed.
A complete breakdown of the new policy can be seen HERE