Turns Out Getting Into Harvard Is Easier Than Getting Into The NYC Marathon Through The Lottery

If you're an NYRR member who didn't get in through the first draw, you still might be in luck...

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The odds of winning the jackpot in the lottery are about 1 in 30 million. Getting struck by lightning? About 1 in 15,300. What about having twins? The odds are 1 in 250.

The odds of getting a race entry from the New York City Marathon lottery? Just 1 in 24.

And while that may seem like good odds, that equates to just 4% of applicants.

Turns Out Getting Into Harvard Is Easier Than Getting Into The NYC Marathon Through The Lottery 1

According to the New York Road Runners (NYRR), the organization which puts on the annual race, nearly 165,000 applications were received. This is the second most in the race’s history, only behind the 2020 race, which was eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYRR stated that they are expecting over 50,000 runners to toe the line this year. In 2023, the NYC Marathon was the largest in the world, with 51,933 starters and a high finishing rate of 98.9 percent of starters making it across the line in Central Park.

Turns Out Getting Into Harvard Is Easier Than Getting Into The NYC Marathon Through The Lottery 2

Can I Still Get Into The NYC Marathon?

If the odds weren’t in your favor this time, there’s no need to panic just yet.

For the 2024 race, NYRR is introducing a second draw for its members.

How does it work? Current NYRR members who were active as of February 27, 2024 (the day before the lottery application period opened) will have their names placed into a second pool.

The draw will take place today (March 28, 2024), and successful members can expect to receive an email by the end of the day.

Vegan new york marathon runners huge crowd

What If I’m Not An NYRR Member?

If you’re not a member of the NYRR, hope is not lost! You can get yourself an entry into the race through its charity program.

There are a few charity options to gain entry to the NYC Marathon. The first is through the NYRR Team for Kids.

If you select this option to enter the NYC Marathon, you must raise at least $1,310 for Team for Kids. Team for Kids is an organization that supports youth and community running programs.

Alongside guaranteed entry into the race, those who run with Team for Kids can also take advantage of a number of other perks, including access to team coaches, an online training app, and a race singlet.

Each year, NYRR also announces an official list of race partners with nonprofits who have charity bibs for the race. 

Like Team for Kids, runners choosing this method must raise money to enter. The amount will vary depending on the charity, but the minimum can be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.

So if you didn’t get into the NYC Marathon, don’t get too down, it was more difficult than getting into Harvard (seriously, you’ve got a 1 in 20 chance there.)

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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