Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Houston Marathon Lottery Update (EDITED PORTION IN BOLD)

For those interested, and those that didn't go to the HARRA meeting last night where a couple of CHM officials were in attendance, along with A LOT of local runners, here is what has come of all the hoopla surrounding the implementation of the lottery system here in Houston as it pertains to the lottery for the MARATHON portion, NOT the half-marathon.  The half marathon was never an issue with HARRA..well thats not true but not in this particular discussion, and not in a favorable manner but we'll just let that sleeping dog lie.  Half marathon wanna be's will be entering the lottery just as the original instructions were announced.
  • Veteran status is still 10+ years of the Houston marathon (previously I stated 5, but 5+ does NOT make a veteran!!).  Also it is my understanding that the 5+ years of running it ONLY applies to the 2011 Houston marathon...Doesn't have to be consecutive. 
    • There is a spreadsheet with names of those that have 5+ years of running it, and you MUST enter your name EXACTLY as it is on that spreadsheet or your spot WILL not be guaranteed.  You can find this spreadsheet on a link off of the marathons website.
  • HARRA was awarded 500 spots to distribute as they see fit.  This does NOT mean you can sign up for HARRA today and be considered.  The spots are for current HARRA members, and HARRA will decide how to distribute them.  Things like warm up series races ran, volunteer points, ranking, years affliliated with HARRA, etc.  Maybe some of those, or not any.  Who knows.  HARRA will be hammering out the details of that.
    • these 500 slots are huge.  with so many HARRA members already getting a golden ticket due to veteran status, and honestly HARRA doesnt have that many members (490 completed the marathon last year), that means a lot of HARRA members might be getting a golden ticket themselves if they are short of veteran status.  I hope that I am one of them.
    • If you train with a group such as any USAFit group, or you even may belong to a running club, like BCRR, Kenyan Way, etc., that does NOT mean you are a HARRA member.  A lot of confusion seems to be coming from that angle.  Unless you pay dues to HARRA every June, you are not a HARRA member.
    • HARRA members who wish to be in on one of the 500 slots and are chosen will sign up in a pre-determined window of opportunity PRIOR to the lottery entry kick off.  Once the window closes, the slots will be released (if any are left) for the general population of marathon runners.
  • You can defer your entry from 2011 to 2012 if you are awarded a slot, but unable to run.  This one confuses me but whatever  (I would hate for someone to take a spot and just defer with no reason whatsoever).  I think if you cant run, then dont take the slot until you can.
I think that just about covers it.


saroy said...

I assume the deferral thing is probably to cover those who sign up and get in, but get injured/sick between August and January. Fair enough.

I'm happy to see they worked with HARRA, although I don't know why they couldn't do that BEFORE making the lottery announcement.

I wish they would do something similar (like the 5-year vet status) for the half marathon, since that's the race I generally run. As you've said, it's the half that really has such high demand. I wonder why they don't consider moving the half to a different day. The could probably fill a field of 15000-20000 of just half marathoners if they wanted to, and have a basically unlimited field for the marathon, and simultaneously give each race its own day to shine.

Junie B said...

the focus on the full marathon is due to the fact that they have and probably always will allow those half marathoners to register for the full, taking the spots from an actual marathoner, never intending to actually running it.

the bottom line, in my opinion, is that to move the half marathon to a different day would cost them more money. shut down roads, pay policemen...not to mention 2 days of volunteers etc., at the end of the day, its all about the almighty dollar. my main complaint is that they CONTINUE to tout how POPULAR their 'marathon' is when really, its the HALF MARATHON...quit trying to play with the big dogs from inside your doghouse...hell they aint even on the damn porch...

saroy said...

Yeah, I agree. It's not like we're NYC or Chicago -- or even close. They obviously know how many people run each race this year, and bend the truth about it. I've told plenty of people that if it's the full they want, their chances of getting in are really high -- unless they allow people to register for the full and switch to the half.

I thought it might actually make them MORE money to have a standalone half than 20,000+ could register for, but you're right, I hadn't thought about all the logistical expenses.