If you’re watching the 2016 NYC Marathon and getting the itch to participate, better lace up your best sneakers.
There’s more to the NYC Marathon than just paying your fee and signing up. If you want guaranteed entry, you’ll have to run for it. And unlike other well-known marathons, you’ll receive priority if you qualify through a NYRR-sponsored running event. If you qualified outside of NYC, you’ll be moved to a separate entry pool that is first-come, first-serve.
And qualifying isn’t as easy as other marathons. For example, in the men’s 18-34 division, a time of 3:05 is enough for entry. But for NYC, the qualifying time is a a full 12 minutes lower.
If you think you’re fast enough, here are the minimum qualifying standards for 2017:
Age 18-34: 2:53 full marathon/1:21 half-marathon
Age 18-34: 3:13 full marathon/1:32 half-marathon
The general application window usually starts in mid-January and runs for one month.
The NYC Marathon is also filled with celebrities, and we know they’re not running any qualifying races.
They’ve entered through the charity program, and so can you. NYRR selects a variety of charities, some local and some national, and gives them each a select amount of guaranteed entries. In 2016, there were four tiers of charity sponsorship, each with increasing benefits and levels of involvement. Even at the lowest levels, the minimum fundraising required is in the thousands. See a full list of charities here.
There’s also a general drawing for more participants, and this is where you’ll need a stroke of luck. NYC metro residents will have priority, followed by national residents, and lastly international residents.
Lastly, international runners may be able to participate through an International Travel Partner program.