I've been negative on NYRR for a few years now. They've made it perfectly clear what their mission is and that is to make as much money as they can. Their motto is "If you pay, then you can run" - and a lottery fee is not "paying". The fact that they've begun opening their lotteries the day after for the marathon and so early for the half is testament to that - get as many people paying lottery fees as possible. Since most aren't going to get in, it's more free money for NYRR with no work. As far as being perfectly clear on how the selection process works, and that the "lottery" isn't a real lottery is not surprising to me at all - why would they want people to really know what their chances of getting in are? It would only deter them from paying the lottery fee.
I got in to the marathon through the lottery in 2005 (though wasn't expecting to) and then I ran 9 races during 2005 to qualify for 2006. That was before they added the +1 requirement. Running and paying for 9 races and membership fees wasn't good enough - now they wanted me to give them free labor? That was enough for me - I thought it was enough for me to commute 2 hours in to the city early on the weekends to do the 9 races, and another 2 back home after. In my mind, I had run NYC twice, which is more than most people, and there were many other marathons out there that were smaller, in nicer areas, that aren't looking to price gouge, etc.
Finally seeing those numbers though, it really opens your eyes as to how tri-state residents are in essence discrimated against. NYRR wants you to become a paying member, they want you to support them and run their races throughout the year, and then when it comes to the premier races, they're going to put you at a disadvantage to everyone else in the world? Why is it that I want to support this organization?
Now, I trek in to the city only for the long training runs and the tune-up. Now I will only run NYRR events (as a non-member) that are important to me, and serve my needs. Another year or two on fee hikes and I may not even do those runs.
Thanks for your post.
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