10 Marathons That Have A Lottery Entry

marathon entry

Do you want to register for a marathon? Some races you can just register for, other larger marathons you have to enter a lottery and hope to get picked to be able to register.

How A Marathon Lottery Works

Larger races around the world have a lottery entry. This means you have to enter the lottery by a specified date for a chance to run in the race. You will be notified if you were picked via lottery and if you are you have to pay your entrance fee. If you are not picked many of them have a charity bib option, meaning you can raise a specific amount of money for a specific charity and gain entry that way. In European countries this process is often called ballot entry. register for a marathon

Here are 10 marathons that have a lottery entry

  1. TCS New York City Marathon– This lottery is one of the most well known and has been in place for years. If use to be that if you entered the lottery 5 years in a row you were given guaranteed entry the next year. This is no longer the case.
  2. Chicago Marathon– The Chicago Marathon switched to a lottery entry a few years ago. Now you have to enter a lottery instead of setting your alarm for the time registration opened. 
  3. Virgin Money London Marathon– The London Marathon is also a well known large lottery marathon. The odds aren’t great, but if you get in it will definitely be worth it.
  4. Tokyo Marathon– This race is one of the world majors and is quite popular. 
  5. Marine Corps Marathon– The Marine Corps Marathon is another race that use to have a regular registration and has switched to a lottery system in the last few years. 
  6. BMW Berlin Marathon– The Berlin Marathon is world famous for good reason. It is one of the world majors and is a fantastic race. Due to popularity it is of course a lottery to get in.
  7. Paris Marathon– Running in Paris is a bucket list item for many runners. The Paris Marathon is a lottery entry.
  8. Big Sur Marathon- Once again, the Big Sur Marathon use to be a regular registration race and has become increasingly popular and is now a lottery for the 26.2 distance.
  9. KBC Dublin Marathon– The Dublin Marathon just switched to a lottery entry in 2020. If you ran in 2017, 2018, or 2019 though they are offering you guaranteed entry for 2020.
  10. Hong Kong Marathon– If you want to run Hong Kong you will need to enter their ballot entry and cross your fingers. marathon entry

The Boston Marathon is NOT a standard lottery. To qualify for the Boston Marathon you have to be fast and have a qualifying time that falls in their specified time limits for your gender and age group. Then the entry is on a rolling basis based on how many people apply to their age division. So just because you have a qualifying time doesn’t necessarily mean you will gain entry if it is a year where a lot of people apply. 

Whether you gain entry through a lottery or register for a marathon that doesn’t have a ballot entry, you will have an amazing experience. There are plenty of fantastic races that you can register for without having to win a lottery, like the Disney World Marathon, LA Marathon, Venice (Italty) Marathon, and many more. 

Here are some other posts you might like:

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Run A Marathon

How To Run A Marathon- Infographic

Which Marathon Should I Run?

10 Things Runners Should NOT Post On The Internet

8 Things NOT To Say To Someone Training For A Marathon

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