Didn’t get a lottery place in this year’s New York City Marathon, and not quite quick enough for a time-qualified place for your age division? You may get a break next year — and conversely lottery places may get even harder to come by. Qualifying-time standards are being relaxed for the 2015 event, and for next year's half-marathon.
However, and by design, not all age divisions are being treated similarly; and the 18 to 39 age group is being split into 18 to 34 and 34 to 39. For men in the old 18 to 39 division who will now be in the 18 to 34 bracket, the cut-off time is being extended to 2h:53m from this year’s required 2h:45m, and by a further two minutes for the 35- to 39-year-olds.
For women in the same age bracket the increase is less generous, to 3h:13m for the 18- to 34-year-olds and to 3h:15 for the 35- to 39-year-olds, both up from 3h:10 mins for this year.
Men in the 55 to 59 division will get an additional nine minutes, to 3h:23m from this year’s 3h:14m. Women in that age bracket see their qualifying time lowered by 18 minutes, to 4h:10m from 3h:52 mins
The New York Road Runners, which organizes the TCS New York City Marathon, says that a review of a decade of entries showed that the percentage of time-qualifiers had been inconsistent across the different age categories. To redress the fact that qualifying by time was tougher for runners in certain age groups, NYRR has tailored a qualifying standard for each age group, rather than use a single standard, such as an age-graded percentage, for all age groups.
The goal, it says, is to offer equal access to the most competitive applicants across all age categories and to allow the highest possible percentage of runners from each category to earn guaranteed entry into the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon.
The changes, outlined below, should, NYRR says “considerably increase the number of athletes who can qualify by time," though how many can do so hasn't yet been decided. Note, too, that only runners who meet the qualifying times in this year's marathon or in a NYRR half-marathon are guaranteed entry. The remaining time-qualifier spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis until the yet-to-be-determined cap has been reached.
No word yet, either, on where the bibs for the additional time qualfiers will come from, by shrinking one of the other entry categories, such as the lottery, or whether the field for 2015 will just get even larger.
|* Age on race day; ** 18-39 category split for 2015. Source: TCS New York Marathon|