I tried for three years to win that special lottery for the New York City Marathon. I failed. From 2010-2012, I waited on the day of the announcement hoping to receive the email notifying me that I’m an official participant. I crossed my fingers, felt butterflies in my stomach and clicked refresh on my inbox page.
The first year, 2010, I just automatically assumed I would get in. Silly me. I had numerous friends get in on their first try, some even lived in New York City. I heard that those who lived in New York had a much harder time winning the lottery. But my friends got in. Naturally, I figured this would happen for me, too. I woke up that morning three years ago humming “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. I was shocked–shocked–I didn’t get in. How could this happen? How could I be the only one of my friends that didn’t get in on my first try? I’m not someone with good luck, obviously.
In 2011, I thought for sure it’ll happen this year. How could I miss out on one year and again the next? My luck isn’t THAT bad. Apparently it is.
By 2012, I had my doubts. But I really wanted in. Every runner I knew had registered for the lottery and we said if we get in, we’ll all go together. They all got in except me and one other person. At least I had someone to commiserate with in my annoyance. But as Mother Nature would have it, the marathon was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy.
According to the New York City Marathon rules, if you don’t get in three years in a row, then you automatically get in for your fourth year. After the cancellation of the marathon last year, I figured it wouldn’t matter that it was my fourth time. All those people who couldn’t run last year would get in for 2013, thus rendering it impossible to make enough open slots for those who’d receive automatic entry.
I was wrong. I got in. It’s a very expensive race. I think my credit card hates me right now as I just registered, spending literally hundreds of dollars. It’ll hate me even more when I charge up a hotel room and flight. But I get to run through the burroughs of one of the greatest cities in the world.