How To Get Into the 2016 New York City Marathon

More than 50,000 runners will be accepted into the 2016 New York City Marathon, but there are only five ways to get into the race. Photo: Matt Trappe

The New York City Marathon is a world-class event and should be on the proverbial bucket list of every runner, no matter if you’re a super-fast sub-elite runner, a dedicated middle-of-the-pack runner or a new runner who might only run a few marathons in your lifetime. But, given how hard it is to get into the race, running the iconic five-borough race is much easier said than done.

More than 50,000 people will be accepted to run in next year’s race on Nov. 6 and here are the five ways to get in:

Enter the Sweepstakes
Enter the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon Sweepstakes. There are 100 guaranteed, non‐complimentary spots in next year’s race. The deadline to enter is and winners will be informed on or before January 13.

Enter the Drawing
You can also enter the marathon’s general drawing. The application opens Jan, 21 and runs through 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 21. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older on Nov. 6 to be eligible. Runners will be selected via three drawings. Last year, less than 20 percent of those entered in the drawing got into the race. But it’s worth a chance.

Run for a Charity or Kids
Guaranteed entries are also available by running for one of the official New York City Marathon charity partners or by running with the NYRR Team for Kids. Charity partner details will be announced in the spring, but you can sign up to run with NYRR Team for Kids today and get a guaranteed spot. In either case, you’ll have to commit to raising money to earn your spot in the race

Run a Qualifying Time
Although not as comprehensive as the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon also has a qualifying program for runners who are fast enough to make the time standards (from an approved half marathon or marathon). But fewer runners are accepted by time qualifiers and the the New York City Marathon time standards are much faster than Boston’s qualifying times. For example, the qualifying time needed for the New York City Marathon for the men’s 35-39 age group is 2:55:00, compared to 3:10 for the same age-group in Boston. For women, New York City Marathon requires a 3:15:00, whereas Boston requires a 3:40.

The qualifying window for the 2016 race is Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015. All runners who made ran faster than the time standards in the 2015 New York City Marathon or in an New York Road Runners half‐marathon are eligible for guaranteed entry. The remaining spots will be filled on a first‐come, first‐served basis until the cap, which is to be determined, has been reached.

Join an International Marathon Tour Group
For runners who live outside of the U.S., guaranteed entries are available through an International Travel Partner (ITP). The race entries are contingent upon purchasing a marathon travel package that includes a flight into a New York City-area airport and/or a hotel stay in New York City.

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