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4 Ways to Qualify for the NYC Marathon

Qualify for the NYC Marathon
Qualify for the NYC Marathon

The New York City Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest ones to qualify for. Many runners see it as a personal challenge to run in this event. There are several different ways to qualify for the NYC marathon, such as qualifying based on time or entering through New York Road Runners.

Qualifying by Time

Competitive runners of all ages and genders can qualify for the NYC marathon based on the time they take to run other qualifying races including half marathons and marathons. The New York Road Runners (NYRR) website lists qualifying charts for full and half marathons for men, women, and non-binary based on age groups. For example, men ages 18-34 have a qualifying time of 2:53 for the full marathon and 1:21 for half. On the other hand, women over 80 need to come in at least 6:35 for a full marathon or 2:50 for a half marathon.

Road Runners Club 9+1

Local runners have the opportunity to also gain entry through the 9+1 program. Each year, the Road Runners Club hosts over 30 opportunities designed to enable runners to earn their spot. NYRR members need to compete in at least nine qualifying races and volunteer at one event for guaranteed access. 

Lottery Drawing

The NYC marathon accepts rolling applications year-round. Then they hold random drawings every two months. There are three drawing pools for local, national, and international applicants. Having different pools allows coordinators to ensure the geographic diversity of runners. The chances vary from year to year, depending on how many runners apply for the lottery. For example, in 2020, applicants had a 2.3% chance of winning the drawing. 


Runners can also gain entry through charity and international partners. Participating charities offer some spots in exchange for fundraising a certain amount. In addition, the global Travel Partners Program guarantees entry for those living outside of the US with the purchase of the Travel Package of flights and hotel stays in the New York area. International runners can buy the package from an official International Tour Operator.

Preparing for the Marathon

Training for a marathon takes dedication and top physical fitness. Our COR Running Program features personalized biometric feedback from a professional physical therapist. We’ll work with you to design an individualized training program based on your specific needs. Schedule a consultation online today.

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