Whether you participated in the 2021 New York City Marathon on November 7 or you cheered on the runners who did, if you’re like us, you’re already dreaming about lining up on Staten Island for next year’s race, which is kicking off on November 6, 2022.
Even though the participant count was lower in 2021 (about 25,000 runners) because of COVID-19, the 26.2-mile race through the Big Apple typically draws some 50,000 participants. In fact, there were a record-breaking 53,640 finishers in 2019, which makes NYC the largest marathon in the world. And on February 24, New York Road Runners confirmed that it intends to return to a full field size in 2022!
Despite the large field size, the NYC Marathon also happens to be one of the hardest to get into, thanks to a notoriously selective system.
If you’re among those hoping for a bib, here’s the official NYRR list of ways to get into the NYC Marathon:
- Entry drawing
- Run with Team for Kids, an official partner of the New York City Marathon
- Run with another charity partner
- Live abroad, and book your trip through an NYRR international travel partner
- Have 15+ NYC Marathons under your belt
- Qualify based on time
- Claim a deferred entry from 2020
- Participate in NYRR’s 9+1 (or 9+$1K) Program
- Be an elite runner
Keep reading to find the right method to enter for you.
Get Picked in the Entry Drawing
Official dates for the entry selection have been announced for the 2022 race. Here are key dates to pay attention to if you want to get in:
- March 9: Applications for the entry drawing opens at noon ET
- March 23: Application window closes at 11:59 p.m. ET
- March 30: Drawing takes place and runners are notified of their status
If your name is picked on March 30, 2022, that’s certainly the easiest way to ensure you line up on Staten Island in November. But the drawing is notoriously selective.
For the 2018 New York City Marathon, 105,184 hopeful runners applied for the drawing—15,640 were accepted. That’s less than 15 percent, making the New York City Marathon more selective than many top universities. With many runners deferring their 2020 entry to 2022 due to COVID-19, that makes the likelihood of winning the lottery even smaller.
To test your luck for next year, you can sign up when registration opens on March 9. It’s free! But if you do get in, it’s $295 for non-NYRR members, $255 for members, and $358 for runners living outside of the U.S.
Run With Team for Kids
Team for Kids raises money for NYRR’s youth programming. By running and raising $2,620 by September 30 for Team for Kids, you’re guaranteed entry into the race.
You can pledge to raise money for Team for Kids here, and—assuming you raise the requisite funds—breathe easy between now and November, knowing that your spot is safe on the starting line. More than 4,000 marathoners run the streets of New York every year thanks to this program.
Run with Another Charity Partner
On the day of the race drawing, NYRR will announce the race’s official non-Team for Kids charity partners. Nonprofits can purchase blocks of guaranteed but non-complimentary entries ahead of time, then sell them to fundraising runners who will represent their organization in the marathon.
After these official partners are made public in early 2022—more information will be available here—you’ll be able to work directly with those charities to secure your spot on the line. Fundraising quotas and deadlines vary by nonprofit, but if all else fails, this is your best bet to get a last-minute spot while giving back to a cause you care about.
Plan Your Trip to NYC Through the ITP Program
If you live outside of the United States, you might be able to earn a guarantee entry into the marathon if you plan your trip to the race through the ITP (International Travel Partner) program. Costs and availability of NYRR-recognized travel packages vary tremendously by country—you can do your homework here—but all include airfare, accommodations, and of course, secured entry into the race.
Be an NYC Marathon Veteran
If you’ve finished 15 or more New York City Marathons, you are automatically allowed a spot in all future NYC Marathons.
Or, if you’re fortunate enough to have access to some sort of time-travel-enabling wormhole, dial things back a decade-and-a-half and get running.
Qualify on Time
Official times from the below NYRR races can qualify you automatically—provided you hit the time standards.
- Fred Lebow Manhattan Half
- NYC Half
- Women’s Half-Marathon
- Brooklyn Half
- Staten Island Half
- 2021 New York City Marathon
Unfortunately, you won’t be guaranteed entry if you hit the qualifier at a non-NYRR race; it’s on a first-come-first-serve basis. Your time must also be verifiable online and the race course must be certified by USA Track and Field, Association for International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), or another major race measurement governing body.
Claim Your Deferred Entry or Cash in Your 2020 Resolution
This one’s extremely specific. If you were admitted into the NYC Marathon but canceled your entry—officially canceled, that is—then you are typically guaranteed an entry to run the next year. You just have to pay again.
However, because of the cancellation of the 2020 marathon due to coronavirus, things are a little more complicated.
All 2020 entrants were given a chance to rank their preferences—whether to run the 2021, 2022, or 2023 marathon—for a deferral during a resolution process held in early 2021. These runners take priority over newer deferrals and the lottery.
If you are one of the runners who deferred your 2020 entry to 2022 or 2023, you will be contacted about signing up in the year of your race. You will not be automatically entered.
Run a Ton of NYRR Races and Volunteer at One (for Entry the Year After)
Thanks to NYRR’s 9+1 Program, NYRR members who finished nine or more NYRR races in 2021, volunteered at one in 2021, and who were NYRR members prior to December 31, 2021, have a guaranteed entry in the 2022 New York City Marathon.
If you ran nine races this year and forgot to volunteer, you can donate $1,000 in lieu of that to NYRR’s Youth and Community Services programs.
If it’s too late for you to start chipping away at your 9+1, then start planning for 2022 to earn entry for the 2023 New York City Marathon.
Be a World-Class Marathoner
The top marathoners in the world, as well as extremely fast local athletes, more or less have an open invitation to compete. All they need to do is ask the race’s elite athlete coordinator for entry—or have their agent do it for them.
We’ll put it like this: elite or sub-elite entry only applies to you if you think you might walk away from the finish line having earned some money, rather than spending it.