How to Get Into America’s Biggest Marathons

You’ve heard of the Chicago, New York City, and Marine Corp Marathons otherwise referred to as the Big Three. They are three of the largest races in the United States located in some of the best cities. They could be considered goal races for many runners since you either have to have a qualifying time, win a lottery drawing, or fund-raise for a specified charity to gain admittance to each race. The scheduled lottery for each of these races is staggered in such a way this year that you could enter in all three in an attempt to gain admittance into one race. For example, if you don’t get into the Chicago Marathon, you can enter into the NYC Marathon lottery shortly after receiving your denial letter from Chicago. Check out the lottery schedule below.


Bank of America – Chicago Marathon

Application Opens: Tuesday, November 1st 2016

Application Closes: Tuesday, November 29th 2016

Drawing Date: Tuesday, December 13th 2016

Race Date: Sunday, October 8th 2017

Entry Fee: $195.00


TCS – New York City Marathon

Application Opens: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Application Closes: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Drawing Date: Thursday, March 2, 2017

Race Date: Sunday, November 5th 2017

Entry Fee: $295.00


Marine Corp Marathon

Application Opens: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Application Closes: Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Drawing Date: Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Race Date: Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Entry Fee: $140.00