How To Qualify For NYC Marathon: Tips And Requirements 2024

Are you ready to take on the challenge of running the New York City Marathon? If so, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. But before you can lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement, you need to qualify for the race. In this article, we’ll show you how to qualify for NYC Marathon and achieve your dream of running through the streets of the Big Apple.

There are several ways how to qualify for NYC Marathon, but the most common method is to meet the time standards based on your age and gender. For example, male runners between the ages of 18 and 34 must complete a marathon in 2 hours and 53 minutes or faster, while female runners in the same age range need to finish within 3 hours and 13 minutes.

If you’re not quite ready to meet the time standards, there are other ways to secure a spot in the race. You can run for charity, join a tour group, or complete the 9+1 program, which involves running nine qualifying races and volunteering at one event in the prior calendar year.

Whatever method you choose, we’re here to help you how to qualify for NYC Marathon and achieve your goal of running the NYC Marathon. Let’s get started!

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07/13/2024 02:56 am GMT

How To Qualify For NYC Marathon: Check The Options!

If you have decided that you want to run the NYC Marathon, you must first qualify for it. The NYC Marathon is one of the most popular in the world. Runners come from all over the world. If you want to know how to qualify for NYC marathon, then we now have the qualification standards that you have to achieve in order, to take part.

Men Time by age Qualification Standards

The NYC Marathon has different age group requirements for different age groups. To qualify for the NYC Marathon, you’ll need to meet the age group requirements for your age group. The age groups are broken down into five-year increments, starting with 18-24 and going up to 80 and over.

How to qualify for NYC marathon? Look at how fast you have to be!:

80 and over5:45:002:15:00

Women Time by age Qualification Standards

women running

And here is the table for the ladies how to qualify for NYC marathon:

80 and over6:35:002:50:00

Alternative Qualification Methods

If you are unable to qualify through the time standards, don’t be sad. You’re not the only one who feels this way. The good news is there are other methods how to qualify for NYC marathon and I’ll show them to you now.

Charity Entries

One way to “How to qualify for NYC marathon?” is to run for a charity. Many charities have guaranteed entries to the race, and they will provide you with a spot if you commit to raising a certain amount of money for their cause.

This is a great way to give back while also achieving your dream of running the NYC Marathon. Like a win win situation.

NYC Marathon Lottery Drawing

Another way how to qualify for NYC marathon is through the NYC Marathon Lottery Drawing. This is a random drawing that takes place after the qualifying period has ended. If you’re selected, you’ll be given a spot in the race.

Keep in mind that the odds of being selected are low, so this is not a guaranteed way to get in. May the luck be with you.

International Tour Operators

If you’re an international runner, you can enter the race through an International Tour Operator. These companies offer travel packages that include guaranteed entries to the NYC Marathon.

Keep in mind that these packages can be expensive, but city ​​trip and shopping for the family and a marathon for you. Doesn’t that sound good.

Road Runner Club 9+1

NYC marathon

If you’re a member of the New York Road Runners Club, you can qualify for the NYC Marathon by completing the 9+1 program. This program requires you to run nine NYRR races and volunteer at one event during the prior calendar year.

Once you’ve completed the program, you’ll be eligible for guaranteed entry to the NYC Marathon. Like miles and more just for steps, and there are many steps in a marathon!

NYRR Virtual Racing Series

Another way to qualify for the NYC Marathon is through the NYRR Virtual Racing Series. This is a series of virtual races that you can complete from anywhere in the world. If you complete the required number of races, you’ll be eligible for guaranteed entry to the NYC Marathon.

NYRR Club Entry

If you’re a member of an NYRR-affiliated running club, you may be eligible for club entry into the NYC Marathon. This is a guaranteed entry that is reserved for members of certain clubs. Check with your club to see if they offer this option.

15+ Legacy Program NYC Marathon

Finally, if you’ve completed the NYC Marathon 15 times, you’re eligible for guaranteed entry into future races. This is known as the 15+ Legacy Program and is open to all runners who have completed the race 15 times. Keep in mind that this is a long-term goal and not a quick way to get into the race.

Application Process

If you have the right option on how to qualify for NYC marathon and you´re interested in running the New York City Marathon, you’ll need to go through the application process. Here’s what you need to know about the registration dates, fees, and payment:

Registration Dates

The registration window for the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon is February 8-22. During this time, you can apply to run the race if you meet the qualifying standards or if you’re entering through a charity or tour operator.

If you’re trying to qualify based on time, you’ll need to submit your qualifying time during the application window. You can qualify by running a certified marathon within a certain time frame. Here you can find more information on the qualifying standards.

Fees and Payment

The entry fee for the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon is $255 for NYRR members and $295 for non-members. If you’re entering through a charity or tour operator, the entry fee may be higher.

When you apply, you’ll need to provide payment information. If you’re accepted into the race, your credit card will be charged the entry fee. If you’re not accepted, your credit card won’t be charged.

It’s important to note that the entry fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. If you’re unable to participate in the race for any reason, you won’t be able to get a refund or transfer your entry to someone else.

That’s a brief overview of the application process for the New York City Marathon. If you’re interested in running the race, make sure to mark your calendar for the registration window and start training now to meet the qualifying standards.

Course Overview

The TCS New York City Marathon course is one of the most iconic and challenging marathon courses in the world. The course takes runners through all five boroughs of New York City, starting on Staten Island and finishing in Central Park.

The course is 26.2 miles long and features a variety of terrain, including bridges, hills, and flat sections. The course is closed to vehicular traffic during the race, and sweep buses follow the marathon route at a 7-hour marathon pace (about 16 minutes/mile) after the final wave start at 11:30 a.m.

NYC marathon Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Here is a breakdown of the course:

  • Mile 1-2: The race starts on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which spans the New York Harbor between Staten Island and Brooklyn. Runners climb to the top of the bridge, which is the highest point of the course, before descending into Brooklyn.
  • Mile 3-13: Runners continue through Brooklyn, passing through neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Williamsburg. This section of the course is relatively flat and a great opportunity to settle into a comfortable pace.
  • Mile 14-15: The course crosses into Queens via the Pulaski Bridge and runs through Long Island City.
  • Mile 16-19: Runners cross the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, which is one of the most challenging parts of the course. The bridge is long and steep, and runners must climb to the top before descending into Manhattan.
  • Mile 20-23: The course runs through Manhattan, passing through neighborhoods such as the Upper East Side, Harlem, and the Upper West Side. This section of the course is relatively flat, but the crowds can be overwhelming.
  • Mile 24-25: Runners cross into the Bronx via the Madison Avenue Bridge and run through the borough for a short distance.
  • Mile 26: The course re-enters Manhattan via the Fifth Avenue Bridge and finishes in Central Park. The final stretch of the course is a slight uphill, so runners will need to dig deep to finish strong.

So now you know how to qualify for NYC marathon and what the route is like. So what are you waiting for. I think if you decide to do this it will be an unforgettable experience for you that you will be proud of for the rest of your life.

Training for the Marathon

training for how to qualify for NYC marathon

If you want to qualify for the NYC Marathon, you need to start training early. Running 26.2 miles is no easy feat, and you need to be in top physical shape to finish the race. In this section, we’ll cover some recommended training plans and injury prevention tips to help you prepare for the big day.

Recommended Training Plans

There are many training plans out there, but we recommend starting with a 5k training plan and working your way up to a half marathon. Once you’re comfortable with the half marathon distance, you can start training specifically for the NYC Marathon

If you have the time, I would also recommend our blog article “52 week marathon training schedule”. With this, you are well on your way to running your first marathon. Have fun and keep running.

Injury Prevention Tips

Injuries are a common problem for runners, especially when training for a marathon. Here are some tips to help you prevent injuries:

  • What to wear for a marathon: Make sure you have a good pair of shoes that fit well and provide enough support.
  • Stretch before and after each run: Stretching helps prevent muscle tightness and injury.
  • Cross-train: Incorporate other forms of exercise, such as swimming or cycling, to give your body a break from running.
  • Listen to your body: If you feel pain or discomfort, take a break and rest. Don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your runs to prevent dehydration.

By following these tips and training plans (12 week marathon training plan), you’ll be well on your way and know how to qualify for NYC marathon. Remember to take it slow and steady, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from experienced runners.

Our Option on How to Qualify for NYC Marathon

If you’re a runner looking to participate in the New York City Marathon, you’ll need to know how to qualify for NYC marathon. As you have learned, there are several ways to qualify.

My personal opinion is that I have to have the ambition for this event in order to qualify over time. When I see this table I think to myself, yes, I have to make this time.
If someone shows me a boundary then it will be broken.

Of course, I’m happy for everyone who can take part in this event, no matter how it came about, and therefore every other opportunity also has its right to exist.

The donation route is also an attractive option. Here I have the feeling that I have done something good. Kind of like a charity run.

The lottery process is just a matter of luck and not something I would want to rely on.

I have great respect for everyone who received their qualification through the 9+1 and the 15+ legacy programs. You are real beasts. Keep it up.


Can anyone participate in the NYC Marathon?

Yes, anyone can participate in the NYC Marathon as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The marathon is open to runners of all ages and abilities, but there are certain requirements that must be met in order to participate.

Is there a ballot for NYC Marathon?

Yes, the NYC Marathon typically uses a lottery system for entry, allowing runners to enter for a chance to secure a spot in the race.

What are your thoughts on how to qualify for NYC marathon? I look forward to your opinion, which you can let me know in the comments!

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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