as prestigious as it once was?

As everyone in the NYC running arena who has done their 9 qualifying NYRR races in 2005 (hell, seemingly *anyone* in the NYC running arena) knows, entry for the 2006 NYC marathon starts tomorrow. But for those who didn’t get their 9 races in…

I was looking at the 2006 entry standards, and it looks they relaxed the qualifying times yet again!! Don’t remember specifics about the other age groups…but for women under 40, the half qualifying time got relaxed from 1:34 to 1:37, and the marathon qualifying time got relaxed from 3:18 to 3:23. And apparently this is the 2nd year in a row that they relaxed the times-don’t remember what the standards were in 2004 or earlier though.

Granted I am nowhere near running a 1:37 half right now (and I had my 9 races in, so it didn’t affect me anyway.) But I know there are quite a few who probably didn’t get their 9 in that did run a qualifying time and got “saved.” Or those who had to cram their 9 in at the end of the year that now probably didn’t have to. It’s no coincidence that December races are *packed*…

But on the other hand…does this “cheapen” the prestige of qualifying for NYC? And with the time changes will most likely be more guaranteed entries…leading to less lottery spots open?

Curious to hear other thoughts on the topic.

And on the topic of NYRR…yay for Club Night on Thursday nite. I’ll be there and I’m psyched for it. It’ll be nice to mingle with the other clubs without everyone having to wear their team colors!! 😀

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5 thoughts on “as prestigious as it once was?

  1. Considering that those times are still faster than what you need to qualify for the more prestigious Boston Marathon, I hardly think “cheapens” applies. On the other hand, at 37,000 entrants the largest marathon in the world is not so exclusive either.In any case, it doesn’t really matter, does it? At the end of the day we’re only racing ourselves.

  2. Boston’s prestige comes from its long history tough qualifying standards. New York’s prestige comes from the fact that it was the first “people’s race” through a city’s streets. So I don’t think that changing the qualifying times will affect its reputation. In fact, I remember when there was a controversy about the elites recieving appearance money.

  3. true, i do think “cheapen” may not have been the right word (FWIW, I think I had seen that used on one of the running forums that was discussing this same topic…)I didn’t think loosening the qualifying standards changed the rep of the race in general…I guess one thing I was thinking about, once someone achieves the BQ, is this the next goal someone chases after? (even though as far as I know, only advantages a qualifying time gets you is a better start position, and of course, not having to do 9 NYRR races.) Like I said, I am so far off being at any of those levels…I guess it just sorta piqued (sp?) my curiosity when NYRR relaxed those standards not 1, but 2 years in a row. Do they figure…the more people who run qualifying times, the less people needing to get in 9 races (one of the biggest complaints about the races as of late is that they really are getting too large to be enjoyable) Or something else?Sorry for all the rambling. Sometimes I really do need to stop thinking out loud 🙂

  4. It’s your blog – ramble as much as you like!

  5. I hardly give qualifying times more than a glance; I’ll never run anything close to those, so the 9-per-year is my only way in and that’s fine by me. Can’t wait for November!

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