|I'm wearing the yellow hat at the start of the 2012 Chicago Marathon|
a) You're fast (Have run a sub 3:15 marathon for men, Sub 3:45 for women in the last 2 years.)
b) You live in another country and pay big bucks through the Marathon's travel partner
c) You run for charity
d) You are a "legacy" runner (5 Chicago Marathons in the last 10 years)
Sadly, the open registration era is gone and a new era of entry requirements/lotter is upon us.
A few observations:
- The time qualification is tougher than I would have liked. First of all, there is no accounting for age. A 60 year old male who can run a 3:16 marathon could be relegated to the sidelines if he doesn't win a lottery spot. Boston and New York both have age-based qualifying times. I don't know if Chicago will do this in the future and just arbitrarily set 3:15/3:45 as the universal threshold to simplify things administratively for the first year. This needs to change for 2015.
- There is no half marathon qualifying time like they have for NYC. An up-and-coming runner who is training to run their first marathon, but is a 1:25 half marathoner (a sub 3:00 hour marathon equivalent) is also thrown into the lottery and may not get in.
- The number of runners from other countries will probably diminish somewhat. I'm guessing that buying a package (entry, plane, hotel) through the marathon's travel partners will be a lot more expensive than buying an individual entry, using your frequent flyer miles for a plane ticket and staying at the youth hostel downtown. If an international runner opts out of buying a travel package, they will have to enter the lottery, then wait until April 14th to make travel arrangements. If an international runners gets in via the lottery but their friend doesn't they might not travel alone and they will forfeit their spot.
- The legacy runner threshold is kind of high. I've supported (i.e. run) the race for the last three out of four years, but that won't count for anything now.
- The price increase was less than expected, but it is still an increase.
- If your credit card doesn't go through you lose your lottery spot
So how does this help those who have to "go lottery" this year?
- #3 above will increase the odds of getting in via the lottery, since I anticipate less international runners will apply.
- #5 will help a tiny bit as the price increased from $175 to $185 which may be $10 more than a handful of people want to pay.
- #6 will help if some lottery winners have entered a credit card number that is expired or is maxed out, they lose their spot. If 1% enter a bad number, that's 1% extra spots for those whose names didn't get picked first.
How it impacts me:
Luckily I ducked under the qualifying time threshold with my 2012 Chicago Marathon time. Amazingly, I would have been too slow using my 2013 time, even though I finished in the top 8% of my age group. I will really have to focus on running a 3:14:59 this year to make sure I can get into the 2015 race.
|Pre Race Chicago Marathon 2013 with the BRC|
How do you like the the new registration system for the Chicago Marathon?