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How to Get into the World Major Marathons: A Six-Star Finisher's Guide

Amy Mangueira | 10 June, 2024

            How to Get into the World Major Marathons: A Six-Star Finisher's Guide

I'm privileged to be a six-star finisher, but the journey wasn't without its logistical challenges. I'm often asked, "How did you get into all the World Majors?" While there's no magic formula, I'll share my experience to help you navigate the increasingly competitive process.

Tokyo:I entered through the charity program, which opens before the general lottery. Set a reminder for the opening date on their website and have a friend or family member try as well, as the site can crash. Marathon Tours is another option if the charity route doesn't work out.

Boston:Qualifying is always ideal, but not guaranteed. I chose to run for Girls on the Run, a charity with a reasonable fundraising requirement and a cause I've supported for years.

London:London can be the toughest. Charities fill up quickly after the lottery results. I recommend preemptively registering with a charity like Endure to Cure, which has a manageable fundraising goal.

Berlin:I skipped the lottery and opted for Marathon Tours. They handle your entry, hotel, transportation, and even some meals and sightseeing, making it a stress-free experience.

Chicago:The lottery is your best bet here, as the odds are better than other majors. Charities are also an option if you don't get in.

NYC:I got lucky in the lottery once, but that's rare. Team For Kids allows early registration in November, months before the lottery opens, which I highly recommend, especially if NYC is your final star.

Fundraising Tips:

  • Company match:See if your employer offers donation matching programs.
  • Car wash:Organize a car wash with volunteers and charge a fee.
  • Restaurant or business partnership:Partner with local businesses to donate a percentage of sales on a specific day.
  • Pet services:Offer dog walking or pet sitting for donations.
  • Gift donations: Ask friends and family to donate to your charity for birthdays or holidays.
  • Social media challenges:Create fun challenges that encourage donations.

By combining these strategies and persevering, you can increase your chances of running all six World Marathon Majors!