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Two Runners Sue Organizers Of New York City Marathon

Photo: New York City Marathon

Photo: New York City Marathon

According to, two runners are suing the New York Road Runners, claiming the no-entry-guaranteed lottery system violates the state constitution of New York. Two Utah residents, Charles Konopa and Matthew Clark, are suing for more than $10 million dollars(!)—or equal to twice the amount collected from the lottery drawings in 2010-2015. During that five-year period, 80,000 runners tried to get in, but only 18% were accepted.

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Both plaintiffs say that only New York state can hold a lottery of this nature. The New York Road Runners does not use the term “lottery”—they call it a “drawing”—when accepting registrations for the annual marathon. The entry fee is only collected if you’re accepted into the race, but every entrant pays a nonrefundable $11 fee. Konopa failed to gain entry in 2014, and Clark failed in both 2011 and 2015.

The lawsuit was filed on the same day 2016 registration opened for NYC. It also comes barely six months after Ironman was sued over the lottery system used to get into the World Championships in Kona, which was ruled illegal and discontinued last May.

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Team WR represents the Women's Running staff and community behind the magazine and The team was created in July 2014 when Women's Running underwent its first re-design since it debuted in 2009. Collectively, Team WR has run everything, from marathon, to half, to novelty runs, to ultras, to 10K and 5K races, to obstacle events, to triathlons.