How Do You Get Into The New York City Marathon

Getting into the New York City Marathon has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. The energy of the city, the iconic landmarks along the course, and the incredible support from the crowds make it one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. After years of training and determination, I finally achieved my goal and crossed that finish line. In this article, I’ll share with you the steps I took to get into the New York City Marathon, along with some personal insights and tips.

1. Qualify through a Time Entry

One of the ways to secure a spot in the New York City Marathon is by qualifying through a time entry. This means you have to meet the qualifying standards set by the New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization that hosts the marathon. The standards vary depending on age and gender, so it’s important to check the official NYRR website for the most up-to-date information. Qualifying for the race requires dedication and a strong training regimen, but the feeling of accomplishment when you achieve your qualifying time is truly indescribable.

2. Run for a Charity

If qualifying through a time entry seems out of reach, another option is to run for a charity. Many charities have partnerships with the NYRR and offer guaranteed entries to the New York City Marathon in exchange for fundraising efforts. Not only does this give you the opportunity to support a cause you’re passionate about, but it also enables you to participate in the marathon regardless of your qualifying time. Running for a charity adds a whole new level of purpose and meaning to your marathon experience.

3. Enter the Lottery

The New York City Marathon also offers a lottery system for entry. This is a popular option for many runners, as it gives everyone an equal chance of securing a spot in the race. To enter the lottery, you’ll need to visit the official NYRR website during the designated registration period and submit your application. Keep in mind that the lottery is highly competitive, and the odds of being selected can be slim. However, if luck is on your side, you’ll have the opportunity to fulfill your dream of running the New York City Marathon.

4. Gain Entry through the 9+1 Program

If you’re a local runner or have the flexibility to travel to New York City for several races, the 9+1 program could be a viable option for you. This program allows you to gain entry to the New York City Marathon by completing nine qualifying races and volunteering for one event organized by the NYRR. Not only does this program guarantee you a spot in the marathon, but it also gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant running community that New York City has to offer.


Getting into the New York City Marathon may seem like a daunting task, but with determination and perseverance, it’s absolutely within reach. Whether you qualify through a time entry, run for a charity, enter the lottery, or participate in the 9+1 program, the journey to the start line will be filled with excitement, challenges, and personal growth. Remember, the New York City Marathon is not just a race, but an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.