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Dublin Marathon to guarantee 2020 entry for recent entrants after outcry over new lottery system

Those who have participated in any of the last three editions of the race have been reserved a place in next year’s event.

Runners pass through the Phoenix Park during this year's Dublin marathon.
Runners pass through the Phoenix Park during this year's Dublin marathon.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THE ORGANISERS OF the Dublin Marathon have today guaranteed a place at next year’s event for anyone who has run in any of the past three editions of the race.

The decision follows criticism of this week’s announcement that, from next year, a lottery system to determine entrants will replace the current first-come-first-served policy. 

This was met by much criticism, with much of it focused on the possibility that regular entrants may miss out on next year’s event. 

Around 4,000 people – which makes up approximately 18% of the field – compete in the Dublin Marathon in consecutive years. 

Organisers today said they are “aware of the concern” the change in system has caused and will now reserve a place at next year’s race for those who have run in any of the last three editions of the race, namely 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

Those who have run in at least one of those events will be emailed a unique URL from 12 noon tomorrow, 1 November, and have 72 hours to sign up and guarantee their place at the 2020 edition of the marathon. 

In a statement, organisers clarified that the lottery system has been implemented to better gauge the level of interest in the race. Under this year’s system, there were 22,500 places made available and no further applications could be made once those spots were filled. 

“The KBC Dublin Marathon Race organisers can confirm that a significant factor in the move to the lottery system for the 2020 KBC Dublin Marathon, in addition to the increased demand experienced over the last number of years, is to gauge the total level of interest in participation in the Dublin marathon”, read the statement. 

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“This is to enable the KBC Dublin Marathon Race organisers to prepare a strategic plan for the future development of the event in consultation with the event’s multiple stakeholders.

Moving to a lottery system will allow the KBC Dublin Marathon race organisers determine the overall interest levels from the amount of lottery registrations as opposed to the current system where applications cut off as soon as the 22,500 capacity is reached.

“Based on the experience of recent years, the KBC Dublin Marathon organisers expect total interest to exceed capacity and the lottery is seen as a fair way to determine participation where interest exceeds capacity.” 

Organisers also confirmed they have allocated a number of places in next year’s marathon to Athletics Ireland. Applications for these spots open on 1 April 2020, and those applying must have a valid Athletics Ireland membership to be eligible.

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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