The NYC Marathon: qualifying

Hey guys! Welcome to my nyc marathon series! Marathon training was such a huge part of my life for the past few months, and I honestly miss it! Now that the marathon is over, I want to relive it all with you! I hope you enjoy this series. Of course, leave questions below!

  1. The backstory of how/why I signed up to run the race
  2. The 4 ways to qualify for the NYC marathon (below)
  3. Training for the marathon
  4. Marathon day




The NYC marathon is the largest marathon in the world. As of November 2017, there are the four current ways to qualify for the NYC marathon. Two methods will qualify you for the upcoming marathon and two methods will qualify you for next year's race.

How to run this year's NYC marathon

The  Lottery

Each year, thousands of runners are accepted to the marathon through the lottery system. In 2017, 14,326 runners were accepted to the 2017 NYC marathon out of 80,080 applicants (including me!). I know. Insane. This year, the lottery is open from January 15 to February 15, 2018 and runners find out February 28, 2018 if they will run the 2018 race.



Multiple charities have various numbers of spots for runners in the NYC marathon. The number of available spots varies by charity, so the smaller charities fill quickly. Each charity has a fundraising minimum for runners, usually between $2,000 to $5,000. This is by far the "easiest" way to enter the marathon, but it comes with a big price ticket. In our experience, fundraising is actually more difficult than training for the marathon. When I was accepted to the lottery, Boz signed up for charity route to run with me. So proud that he used his hobby to raise $3,500 for the pediatric cancer division of Memoral Sloan Kettering with Fred's team.

How to run next year's race



The New York Road Runners club hosts dozens of runs throughout the year, most of which are considered "qualifying runs." If you run 9 qualifying runs and volunteer at 1 qualifying event, you are qualified to run the next year's marathon. For example, I ran 9 races and volunteered at 1 event in 2017 and am therefore qualified to run in the 2018 NYC marathon. I will probably run 9 more races next year to stay in shape for the marathon and qualify for the 2019 marathon. WHEN WILL IT END.


Time qualifying

If you run one of the qualifying races at a fast enough pace, you are automatically qualified for the next year's NYC marathon. This is by far the hardest way to enter the marathon and is aimed at elite runners. For women 18-34, the qualifying marathon time was 3 hours 13 minutes and qualifying half marathon time was 1 hour 32 minutes to qualify for the 2018 NYC marathon (races run in 2017)


Now that you know how to qualify for the marathon, next up is how to train for a race!


Drop your questions/comments below!