Changes to the registration process for the New York Marathon were announced today. The changes affect guaranteed entry options with the result being a tightening of the qualifying times and the gradual elimination of the guaranteed entry via the lottery if denied entry in three consecutive years.
The changes aren’t really that surprising given the growing popularity if marathons and the fact the Boston Athletic Association made similar changes to their registation process.
I applied for a lottery entry for the first time this year. Under the new rules I will not be able to gain automatic entry via the lottery as this option is being phased out after 2013. If I want to get in I will have to take my chances by entering every year and hoping my number eventually comes up.
Direct qualification is not something I considered for New York because the standards were already tougher than they were for Boston. Under the new rules, I would have to run a 2:45 marathon or 1:19 half-marathon over the next four years.
Conceivably, more runners will now be accepted via the lottery since the qualifying standards will be tighter. However, it will be interesting to see how many people will continue to apply for entry via the lottery. Will some people give up on the lottery now that there will no longer be an automatic entry after being denied for three consecutive years?
What do you think of the changes? If you had planned to run New York will you still take your chances with the lottery?