Two Runners Sue Organizers Of New York City Marathon

They claim the lottery system to get into the highly coveted race is illegal.

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.