Thursday, January 30, 2020


Today was supposed to be a day of celebration... Today was the opening day for the application period for the TCS New York City Marathon... But instead of it being a day to commemorate my hard work and dedication, it's a day of heartbreak.

As some of you may know, I have entered the lottery to run the TCS New York City Marathon three times before... and have been denied each time. For 2020, I figured I wouldn't leave it up to chance, but I would put in the work to claim a time-qualified spot. The time-qualifications are even more stringent than for the Boston Marathon, but thankfully they allow you to qualify with a half or full marathon time. (I knew I wouldn't be able to run a fast enough marathon time, but if everything lined up on the day of my half marathon I figured I could squeak out a fast enough race to get me in.)

In November I ran the REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon and was able to finish with a time of 1:32:50. As you probably could see from the chart above (I'm a 35 year old female), I had to run a sub-1:34 and I did it. I WAS STOKED! It isn't like the Boston Marathon where the faster qualifiers register first and so there's a possibility you have to run even faster than the standard to actually qualify... If you run faster than the requirement, whether it's by an hour or a second, you can register.

I even wore blue and orange to bring me NYC luck...

Well, as long as there are spots left available... And, as I'm sure you can guess by now, when I went to register all of the time-qualified spots (that occurred at non-NYRR races) had been taken. I literally could NOT believe what I was reading...


You see, as soon as I ran my time-qualifying race I put the date of registration in my phone so I would not forget. I looked last night to see what time today it would open and didn't see anything specific so set my alarm for 5:30am, thinking there was a possibility it would be at 9am EST. Instead of a 9am opening, they went for a noon (on the east coast) opening... Which normally would have been totally fine because I am off on Thursdays, but my boss asked me if I would help her at a local elementary school jog-a-thon... So when registration officially opened I was cheering on fourth and fifth graders as they ran laps around their playground trying to raise funds for their art and physical education programs.

I got home by 11:30am and jumped on the computer immediately. There was a queue that you had to wait in before they would allow you access to the site due to the high number of folks hitting the InterWebs. While I waited I read the fine print and noticed all of the non-NYRR time-qualified spots were GONE! In fact, a friend told me that they had all been claimed within FIVE MINUTES of registration opening (I haven't seen that stat verified yet, but I can absolutely believe it).


Like I mentioned at the jump, I am heartbroken. I know, I know, #FirstWorldProblems, but I think in the back of my mind I never thought I wouldn't be able to claim my guaranteed spot. I was already looking at hotels to stay at and the hubby was putting together an itinerary of what pizza places he wanted to hit up while we were there. Sure, I can enter the lottery for the FOURTH time, but seeing as this is the 50th Anniversary race I'm assuming the odds will NOT be in my favor...


I guess I will use the next two weeks (since the lottery is open until February 13th) to decide if I want to throw my name in the hat for a fourth year or if I want to do something else. PS Isn't it weird that runners think "winning" a lottery means having to spend $295 AND having to put their body through the grueling work of running 26.2 miles?! #WeBeCrayCray


Do you think I should enter the lottery?


Unknown said...

Yes you definitely should. Don't get discouraged. Keep trying until you succeed. Keep thinking positively as you usually do.
I'll be talk'in to ya.

NA said...

I had the exact same thing happen to me. From what I can see there is no indication on the website, that they fill up those qualifying spots... So just like you I had no clue that even having run a qualifier I might not get in. Feels like all that hard work (and planning!) for nothing. NYRR Needs to be more clear about their registration!!