Friday, December 21, 2012

New York Resolution

Finally after much wrangling (presumably with their insurance company) the New York Road Runners have come out with their resolution to the cancelling of the New York Marathon in November. You can read the full text below but the bottom line is that you can either get your money back or get guaranteed entry to the New York Marathon in 2013, 2014 or 2015 (paying the $350 entry fee again).

I realized that I am a bit of a borderline case. The logical thing for me to do would be to ask for my money back and then get guaranteed entry via my Half Marathon time of 1:19:37 from the Getafe Half Marathon I ran  back in January. The thing is that, for 2013, the qualifying times are going to be more stringent. Interestingly, the New York Marathon website currently has no information about this but, earlier in the year they published this:

Guidelines for Guaranteed Entry: 2013 and Beyond

Qualifying with a fast marathon or half-marathon time. Runners who meet the following qualifying time standards in a half-marathon or marathon (results must be verifiable online) between January 1, 2012, and January 31, 2013:

1/2 Marathon

After feedback from our runners and careful review of tens of thousands of race performances from the last decade, we have revised the time-qualifying standards for guaranteed entry into the ING New York City Marathon 2013. We thank all our runners for their helpful input.

In the open group (aged less than 40) I would have to record a Half Marathon time of less than 1:19:00 to be admitted. But wait! I am now 40 years old so the time to beat is "only" 1:23:00! So now the question is, did I have to be 40 years old on the day of the Half Marathon or is it my age now (or, for that matter, my age on the day of the Marathon) that counts? So far I have only received a cryptic answer to this question and they have lead me to suspect that the qualifying times might change again. If it turns out that my 2012 Half Marathon time is good enough then, by the same sort of faulty accounting we often apply along the lines of "This new bike has been more than paid for by the petrol I have saved", it will be as though I actually won a prize of $350 when I crossed the line back in January.

On the other hand, it shouldn't be too difficult to do another Half Marathon in less than 1:23 and I have already put my name down for the 2013 Getafe Half Marathon which is between now and the 31st of January. The rub is that it is on the 27th of January this year and the deadline for choosing between refund and guaranteed entry is the 25th! It seems like I am surrounded in all directions and that I will have to take a calculated risk or pay the $350 again.

I think the options offered are fair enough and, while there will be a lot of grumbling about paying the entry fee again from those who go for option (2) - guaranteed entry - the fact is that anyone who runs the New York Marathon has got a certain amount of disposable income; if not, there is always option (1) - a full refund. I can't help feeling a bit frustrated, however, as I am so close to being able to get the best of both worlds: full refund and guaranteed entry for 2013...

UPDATE: I still haven't had an intelligible reply from NYRR on the age question but, judging by the qualifying times for the New York Half Marathon, it would seem as though the age is the age on the day of the qualifying race... In other words, the qualifying time I had for 2012 no longer applies and there won't be an opportunity for me to get another one before the deadline.

New York Road Runners: A Message About The Marathon

Dear Marathon Runners:

Thank you all for your patience during the last seven weeks as we have worked through issues related to the cancellation of the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. Hurricane Sandy was a devastating event for our city, and our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families as they work to rebuild their homes and lives.
We are sorry that it has taken us longer to resolve these issues than we had originally hoped. We have been working to offer the best possible solutions in order to meet the needs of the many different groups associated with the Marathon.
Our goal was to offer a range of options to each of you so that you can choose which option works best for you.
All 2012 Marathoners may choose one of the following three options:
Option #1 - Refund. While NYRR has always had a no-refund policy for the Marathon, given these extraordinary circumstances, we are offering runners who were entered in the 2012 Marathon, and were unable to run due to the cancellation¹, the opportunity to obtain a full refund of their 2012 Marathon entry fee (excluding the $11 processing fee); OR
Option #2 – Guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon for 2013, 2014, or 2015. Entrants in the 2012 Marathon who choose this option will be granted guaranteed entry to the Marathon for the year they choose. Runners will be required to pay all processing and entry fees at the time of application (in the given year), with fees maintained at the same rate as those paid in 2012; OR
Option #3 – Guaranteed entry to the NYC Half 2013. Entrants in the 2012 Marathon who choose this option will be granted guaranteed entry to the NYC Half 2013, to be run on March 17, 2013. Runners will be required to pay all processing and entry fees at the time of application. Availability will be limited.
¹ Applies to runners entered in the 2012 Marathon who had not cancelled prior to October 24, 2012.


All runners who signed up to run the 2012 Marathon on behalf of Team for Kids or one of the official ING New York City Marathon charities and obtained their entry from NYRR will be offered the same options. The fundraising you did in connection with the 2012 Marathon will entitle you to any of the options above. If your 2012 Marathon entry fee was paid through your charity partner, you will be contacted directly by your charity.


All international runners who gained entry to the 2012 Marathon as part of a travel package with an official ING New York City Marathon International Travel Partner will be contacted directly by their International Travel Partner representative to facilitate their options.
Ticket-holders for any of the following events will be offered a full refund:
Marathon Eve Dinner
Reserved Grandstand Seating
Blue Line Lounge Presented by Tata Consultancy Services
Marathon in a Motorcoach
TrackMyRunners™ via TXT
Those of you who were entered in the cancelled 2012 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K will receive a separate e-mail outlining further details.


Individual e-mails will be sent to all runners on January 10, 2013, and information will be posted on the Marathon website, providing further details and terms and conditions for the obtaining of refunds and the choosing of an option. The option selection window will open on January 11, 2013, and you will have until January 25, 2013, to choose your option, so we ask that you please act quickly once you receive the instructional e-mail, as there will be no default option.
Please choose the option that works best for you. If you have any questions prior to receiving our instructional e-mail on January 10, please do not hesitate to contact NYRR customer service at
On behalf of all of us at NYRR, thank you for your patience and support. Our commitment is to work hard over the coming year to serve our runners and community and to return the ING New York City Marathon to being our city's best day.
Yours in running,
Mary Wittenberg
President and CEO

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