There are five ways to get into the New York City Marathon:
1. If you live out of the country, you can get in through a marathon travel agency. I live in New York. It is actually harder to get into the marathon as a New Yorker than if I were a New Zealander.
2. I applied via the lottery in 2004. Rejected. I applied again in 2012 - rejected again. There used to be a 3 consecutive strikes and you're in policy, but they eliminated it because of the overwhelming demand.
3. I could raise money for a charity, but if I don't raise enough I would be responsible for the difference. Ugh. Also, I would feel disingenuous about the fundraising. I am very passionate about a lot of causes, but I know in this instance, it is all about the race for me.
4. Another avenue is the NYRR's 9+1 system. You run 9 of their races and volunteer for 1. This gives you guaranteed entry. There are two problems for me. First, it's expensive. The entry fee to the marathon alone is $250 these days. Add another $40 per race for 9 races, that's a lot of money. $610 (yes, I whipped out the ol' pencil and paper for the easy arithmetic) just to register! Second, the NYRR races fill up quickly. They advise you to register at the beginning of the year for all 9 races so you don't get shut out as time goes by. This is a problem when you have four active children. We have soccer games, concerts, birthday parties, etc. I can't predict when I'll be free.
5. The fifth way to get in, and the way I have chosen after my performance in Baltimore, is to qualify. The times are tough. I qualified for Boston with my 3:41, however this is not fast enough for NYC. As a 41 year old woman, I need to run a marathon in 3:25 or less. Six months ago, I was like, "No friggin' way is that ever going to happen!" After my time in Baltimore, I'm thinking, "It could happen." I took off 37 minutes from Marathon One to Marathon Two. It's certainly feasible I could shave off 16 minutes from Two to Three, right? (nod yes, please) If not Two to Three, then Three to Four (more nodding, maybe with a little enthusiasm)? It will happen, just a matter of when. Hopefully sooner than later.
I did a tempo run this morning: 3.91 miles in 32:37.