Backlash Over Mixed Messages Regarding 2013 NYC Marathon

Runners registered to run in 2012's canceled NYC Marathon thought they were guaranteed a spot in next year's race, but now it's less clear

Entrants in this past November's canceled New York City Marathon are growing frustrated over ambiguous messages and poor communication regarding whether they can run in next year's race, they say. 

Thousands of runners assumed they'd be automatically allowed to run in the 2013 New York City Marathon after New York Road Runners Director Mary Wittenberg said in her announcement of the 2012 race cancellation, "They'll be guaranteed entry for the marathon, or if they prefer, the New York City half." 

But this week, many marathoners got a less definitive message on Facebook. While NYRR posted a message stating that while this year's race does count on the point system helping to clinch a slot next year, there's no mention of a guarantee. 

"Decision related to any other issues or questions are still pending, and we will share additional information as soon as it becomes available," the message states. 

"It's a little confusing to me that somehow, now, we're whistling a different tune," said runner Mark Schneider. 

"It's a bit of a blow," he said. "They need to be a little more responsible and consistent in their message to people." 

Marathon officials have not responded to NBC 4 New York's request for clarifications on the apparent guarantee to next year's race. But the financial pressure is enormous, with millions of dollars in registration fees at stake and the logistics of future marathons on the line. 


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