14 Ways To Qualify For The New York City Marathon

Every way to qualify for the NYC Marathon

Each November, runners from around the world run through the five boroughs of New York City in the New York City Marathon. It is one of the World Marathon Majors and often represents the pinnacle of achievement in the running world. Over 51,000 New York City Marathon runners finish the race each year.

Similar to the various qualification methods for the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon has multiple entry points.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide with every way you can qualify for the New York City Marathon including the New York Marathon qualifying times. So lace up your running shoes and read on!

Who are the New York Road Runners?

The New York Road Runners (NYRR) is an organization that owns and operates many high-profile races in and around New York City, including the New York City Marathon. They are a membership community and offer membership perks, some of which can help you gain entry into the NYC Marathon.

The NYRR is often referred to as the “Road Runners Club”. If you see NYRR mentioned, we’re referring to the New York Road Runners.

When is the NYC Marathon?

November 3, 2024. Runners start in waves based on estimated finishing time.

The race officially begins at 8AM EST with the Professional Wheelchair Division.

NYC Marathon Cost to Enter

For NYRR members, it’s $255. Non-members pay $315.

Every Way to Qualify For the New York City Marathon

If you’re an aspiring runner with your sights set on conquering the NYC Marathon, you might be wondering just how you can earn your spot on that iconic starting line.

New York Marathon Qualifying Times

One of the most common ways to secure entry is by beating the New York Marathon qualifying times in a certified marathon race. The time standards vary depending on your age and gender but generally fall within a competitive range.

The NYC marathon qualifying times will need to have been attained during the previous year from January 1 to December 31 (If your result was attained in the 2024 calendar year, you qualify for the 2025 race).

NOTE – 2024 will be the last year that certified half marathon qualifying times will be accepted. Starting in 2025, only non-NYRR full marathon times will count toward qualifying.

Men Standards

Age Marathon Half-Marathon
18-34 2:53:00 1:21:00
35-39 2:55:00 1:23:00
40-44 2:58:00 1:25:00
45-49 3:05:00 1:28:00
50-54 3:14:00 1:32:00
55-59 3:23:00 1:36:00
60-64 3:34:00 1:41:00
65-69 3:45:00 1:46:00
70-74 4:10:00 1:57:00
75-79 4:30:00 2:07:00
80+ 4:55:00 2:15:00

Women & Non-Binary Standards

Age Marathon Half-Marathon
18-34 3:13:00 1:32:00
35-39 3:15:00 1:34:00
40-44 3:26:00 1:37:00
45-49 3:38:00 1:42:00
50-54 3:51:00 1:49:00
55-59 4:10:00 1:54:00
60-64 4:27:00 2:02:00
65-69 4:50:00 2:12:00
70-74 5:30:00 2:27:00
75-79 6:00:00 2:40:00
80+ 6:35:00 2:50:00

To see how your pace compares, check out our marathon pace chart.

General Entry Lottery Drawing

For those who prefer to leave their fate to chance, the NYC Marathon offers a lottery entry option. Each year, a limited number of spots in the race are allocated through a random drawing.

While the odds of securing entry through the lottery are relatively low, it provides an equal opportunity for all aspiring runners to experience the thrill of the NYC Marathon.

The entry period for the lottery drawing each year is approximately February 28 to March 21.

There are three application pools that each choose their own lottery winners. You’ll be in one of these drawings.

  • NYC Metro Area Residents – If you live within 60 miles of New York City, you’ll be in this group
  • The Rest of the US Group – U.S. Residents not in the NYC Metro Area will be in this group. This includes Puerto Rico and other U.S. territory citizens.
  • International Residents – Everyone else that are not U.S. residents.

The actual drawings take place around March 28th, and the lucky winners are notified by email.

In 2023, over 128,000 runners entered the lottery for approximately 6,500 spots (5%). In 2020, there were 185,000 applications for 4,200 spots (2.3%).

May the odds be ever in your favor.

NYRR Member-Only Second Chance Drawing

Yes, Here’s one of the big perks when you’re a member of the NYRR.

If you are a current member of the NYRR and DO NOT get into the race via the General Lottery drawing, you automatically get put into a “second chance” drawing. This drawing happens immediately after the General Lottery drawing and winners are notified around the same time.

Membership fees start at $40/year, so it’s not a bad investment, even though membership alone won’t provide a guaranteed entry.

Previous Winners of the NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon female runner near the finish line

If you have ever won the race since 1970, you will be granted an automatic entry into any future NYC Marathon.

NYRR Set the Pace Podcast Sweepstakes

NYRR is giving away 3 entries to the TCS New York City Marathon in 2024. You just listen to their Set the Pace podcast, answer the trivia questions, and you may get in the race.

Full details are found here.

NYRR Free Race Entry Sweepstakes

NYRR is giving away 10 free entries into the TCS New York City Marathon in 2024. You can buy sweepstakes tickets ($50 for 10 tickets).

Sweepstake details can be found here.

Charity Entry

New York Marathon qualifying times and other options available to runners

If you’re passionate about a particular cause and eager to make a difference while running the NYC Marathon, securing a charity entry might be the perfect option for you.

Many official charity partners of the marathon offer guaranteed entry to runners who commit to fundraising a certain amount of money for their organization. You’ll need to raise a minimum of $2,500 to $3,000 and you’ll get a guaranteed entry into the New York City Marathon plus VIP perks on race day.

Not only does this provide you with a guaranteed spot in the race, but it also allows you to contribute to a worthy cause.

International Travel Partners

For runners residing outside of the United States, several official international tour operator partners of the NYC Marathon offer entry packages that include race entry, accommodations, and other perks.

This option not only simplifies the logistics of traveling to New York City for the marathon but also ensures that you have a coveted spot in the race.

This only works for runners who live outside the U.S. and spots fill up fast. The full list of tour operators can be found here.

NYRR 5K and 10K Members

If you are a NYRR member at the 5K ($5,000/year) or 10K ($10,000/year) level, you earn guaranteed entry into the New York City Marathon along with VIP race day amenities.

If you’re in the 10K club, you don’t even need to pay the race entry fees.

Canceled Entry From Last Year’s Race

If you were set to race in last year’s race but had to cancel following the race’s cancellation guidelines, you’re eligible to race in this year’s marathon. This only works for the race year following your cancellation.

You cannot cancel multiple years.

Legacy Program

NYC Marathon qualifying times runners crossing the bridge

The NYC Marathon’s Legacy Program honors runners who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons.

Legacy finishers receive guaranteed entry into the race for life, ensuring that their dedication and commitment to the event are recognized and celebrated.

Only about 1,500 runners fall into this category, so it’s a fairly exclusive group.

9+1 Program

For local runners who are members of the New York Road Runners (NYRR) club, the 9+1 program offers a pathway to guaranteed entry into the NYC Marathon.

Participants must complete nine qualifying NYRR races in a calendar year and volunteer at one additional race within the same calendar year to earn their spot in the following year’s marathon.

Qualifying NYRR races sell out very quickly and are listed here.

Road to the Majors – Half Marathon Journey

Have you already completed 3, 4, or 5 of the World Marathon Majors?

The Global Run club has special virtual half marathon races you can complete to earn an entry into a special lottery to get into the NYC Marathon.

There are six virtual races, and they cost $45 each. They are in March, April, May, August, September, and October.

Get more information at https://app.abbottwmmglobalrunclub.com/en/challenges.

Be a Guide / Support Runner to a Disabled (AWD) Athlete

Did you know that the NYRR provides a complimentary race entry to support guides and runners? It’s true. Help another runner and get in for free.

Each disabled runner can only have a single support runner, but you can request a second if necessary (it’ll be up to NYRR though).

Be aware that as a guide or support runner, you will not receive an official finishing time, or receive race or volunteer credit either.

Details are available here.

Conclusion

Whether you qualify by time, fundraise for charity, or participate in one of the various entry programs, the experience of running through the streets of New York City alongside thousands of fellow runners is sure to be unforgettable.

If there are any qualification methods that we overlooked, please let us know through the contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you qualify for NYC marathon?

There are many ways to qualify and run in the NYC Marathon. From time qualification to NYRR 9+1 method to sweepstakes, you can make your dream of running New York a reality.

Is there a cutoff for NYC marathon?

The official end time of the race is at 8pm, roughly 12 hours after the first categories begin the marathon.

Can anyone participate in the NYC Marathon?

You must be a valid entrant to the race and at least 18 years old on by race day.

Is there an age requirement for the NYC Marathon?

You must be at least 18 years old on race day.

Is there a lottery for the NYC Marathon?

Yes, there are many qualification methods and the general lottery is one of them.

Can you qualify for NYC with a half?

Yes, 2024 is the last year that the NYRR will allow entrance into the NYC Marathon with a qualifying half marathon time result.

How many people enter the NYC Marathon Lottery?

Over 128,000 runners enter the lottery for approximately 6,500 spots (5%). In 2020, there were 185,000 applications for 4,200 spots (2.3%)

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