Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Please Don't Let Me Win the Lottery...

This week I played the lottery.  And while everyone else hopes they win the lottery, I kinda hope I don’t. 

That probably has to do with the fact that if I win my lottery I don’t get any money. As a matter of fact, if I win I have to pay money. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars by the time it is all said and done. 

To run in the 2012 NYC Marathon. 

I applied for a non-guaranteed entry spot into the NYC marathon which will be held on November 4, 2012.  I am not fast enough to qualify for a guaranteed entry spot; in order to do that I would have to run a half-marathon in 1 hour 37 minutes (my fastest half-marathon time is 2:09).

Epcot - 5:30am
I have only run one other marathon: Walt Disney World in January 2011. That was a great experience (except for the wanting to die around mile 22 part). At the WDW marathon you get to run through all four of the theme parks: first through Epcot, then Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and finally Hollywood Studios. Running through the parks makes it almost worth having to be at the start line at 3:30am.

Stopping for pics...
The Disney marathon is exceptionally well-organized and a truly magical experience. I would suggest it to anyone who wanted to run a marathon – especially people, like me, who aren’t fast. Unlike Boston, Disney loves the five hour marathoners too. (I would like to say in my defense, I probably could’ve done it in about 4:30 if I hadn’t stopped to take so many pictures with Disney characters).

NYC will of course be very different from Disney.  The NYC Marathon is one of the “Big 5” marathons (for those who don’t speak Runner’s World, the Big 5 marathons are those part of the World Marathon Majors: NYC, Chicago, Boston, London, and Berlin). NYC will actually be shown on live television this year, for the first time in 20 years. Probably because they heard I’m applying.

Besides Disney, NYC is the only other marathon I’ve ever been interested in running. It is on my Bucket List. The course is completely fabulous and goes through all five boroughs.  It begins on Staten Island, crosses into Brooklyn, up through Queens, flips around in the Bronx and ends in Manhattan smack in the middle of Central Park. 47,000 people ran the NYC marathon in 2011 and will again in 2012.
The marathon basically shuts down the entire city for most of a day. 

I have to be honest; my chances of winning the lottery are not good.  The marathon organizers estimate the percentage of accepted lottery applicants will be between 8-12%. So there’s a 90% chance I won’t have to run the hundreds and hundreds of training miles needed to adequately prepare for a marathon. I would get to keep all my toenails this summer, not have to get up at 6am to run before it gets too hot, and could eliminate the words foot cramps, runner’s gel and porta-potties from my regular vocabulary. 

The good news for me is this: I will run the NYC marathon.  They used to have what I call the “three strikes, you’re in” policy. If you apply and are denied entry for three consecutive lotteries, you move into the “guaranteed entry” section for the fourth race.  I applied in 2011 and was rejected. That means if I am denied this year and 2013, I will automatically be able to run in 2014.  I’m fortunate because the race organizers eliminated the policy in 2012(because of the growing number of applicants), so I am in the last group who will be grandfathered in.

I’ll be sure to announce in late April when I hear if I "won" the lottery.  And if I do, I'm sure I'll be complaining about my luckiness all the way to the first weekend of November...


  1. So, in reality, you're gonna have to do all that work and pay all that money regardless. It's just a matter of "now" or "in 2014"...

  2. I definitely think that being selected makes you a winner! :) Not everyone could run a marathon like that, I doubt I could even run a mile! lol The Disney marathon sounds really cool, I would've had to stop for pictures too. :)

  3. You go, Janie! Love the pics of you at the Disney marathon.

    Will you have any photo ops during the NY Marathon? Why do I think a street hotdog vendor won't make photo op list?

    I work out with a couple who log some of their training on the treadmills. The wife hit the three strike lottery last year.

    Gotta tell you, though. My brain did a Screech, Backup, Reread when I got to "...keep all my toenails." What's up with that?

    Squee! I noticed the daily miles widget on your sidebar, and considered getting one for my walk to Toronto. But, I suspect that's for serious runners. Not my daily mile count in my virtual walk from Texas to Toronto.

    1. Sorry for my late reply, Gloria. I would imagine the NYC Marathon would have a great deal of photo ops too. I would resist the urge if possible... If I stop to get a hotdog vendor's picture, I know I'm just going to end up eating a hot dog. :)

      Toenails... yeah, a pitfall of marathon training. The amount of friction of toes rubbing against shoes for that many miles usually means loss of a couple toenails. It's not really painful, just unattractive. Makes sandals not

      You should definitely do the Daily Mile widget. Daily Mile is kind of a face book for runners (but there are tons of walkers too). You just put in your mileage as you do it and people give you all sorts of virtual high-fives and such. Treadmill miles are miles too!

  4. I didn't know about the 3 strikes thing. I may have to start applying...

    Jon, Courtney and I are considering the Chicago in 2013 too. Should be fun training for an early fall race in the summer heat of Tampa.

    1. Don't say stuff like that or you know Megan and I are going to show up...

  5. If you ever run London marathon, I promise I'll come to cheer you!! :)

    1. If YOU ever decide you want to do the London Marathon, I'll come run it with you! :)

  6. I'm hoping you do win the lottery. You're not gonna be able to let go of this race until you get in - so here's for a 2012 win!

  7. You might be interested in this: My son (age 25)ran his first ever race last summer. A "half-Ironman"

    This summer he's running a full Ironman in Penticton, British Columbia.