Spent a few minutes digging these up this morning. I figured I might need to document my three consecutive denials to the NYC marathon.
Each of these emails represents a story of ecstatic hope and optimism. You see, NYC is the marathon that I remember as a kid, the marathon that people line the streets 2-3 people deep for almost the entire distance, the marathon that - to me - defines marathon running. Many people think of Boston when they think of the preeminent running race that those crazy-fit distance runners do - but as a kid growing up in queens, it was all about New York. Almost as soon as I realized I was capable of running a marathon (me?), I knew I wanted to run New York.
I've applied to NYC marathon three consecutive times, but four times in total. All four times I've sent in my application (along with the $10 application fee) almost immediately after registration opened. I've been denied all four times. Each denial brought with it a crushing sense of disappointment, and while I won't go so far as to say "despair", by 2008 I definitely got a little cynical about this whole lottery process.
Thankfully, in 2009, I won't have to deal with the disappointment. I really hoped it wouldn't come to this, but if you apply to and are denied in three consecutive years, you're guaranteed entry in the fourth year.
So. November 1, 2009 - if you're running, I'll see you there.