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Dublin Marathon says new lottery system 'gives everyone a fair chance'

Criticism of the new system claimed that seasoned runners could miss out on participating next year.

2019 KBC Dublin Marathon
2019 KBC Dublin Marathon
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE ORGANISERS OF the Dublin Marathon have defended the decision to move to a lottery-based system to allocate places for next year’s event, saying it “gives everyone a fair chance”. 

Yesterday, it was announced that for the KBC Dublin Marathon 2020 the lotto system would replace the first-come-first-serve basis that currently exists.

Organisers said it came after registration demand for the 2019 marathon – which took place at the weekend – could not be met despite the allocation of an extra 2,500 places. 

In all, 22,500 places will be available for next year’s marathon.

The lottery event will open to the public from 1-30 November. Applicants will be charged €15 to enter, but if they are unsuccessful they will be issued with a refund. 

In posts announcing the move to a lottery system on social media, the move was criticised as not the best way to tackle the issue of those who registered not turning up on the day.

One said: “A name change system would be the best option and is offered in many other top marathons right up to a few weeks before. A lottery is a farce and disrespectful to the people who have kept this going.”

“Surely people that participate regularly should get a little better chance of getting in,” another said. “Dedicated supporters could be left out in the cold because of it,” according to another.

Responding to criticisms on Facebook, Dublin Marathon said: “We had 1000’s people looking for one of the additional 2,500 spots this year.

The lottery system gives everyone a fair chance and it also allows us to see the demand so that we can take the figures to authorities in the hope of increasing event capacity.
The demand for the 2019 race could not be met despite the addition of 2,500 places.

It said many major city marathons that have more interested runners than they can accommodate have moved to a lottery system in recent years.

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“We recognise the loyalty of runners to the event and this will be factored into the lottery systems allocation process,” it said. “This will ensure that the race reflects the make-up of runners lining up of previous years, from national to international, new to loyal runners.”

The 40th edition of the race took place on Sunday, with over 22,500 expected to take part beforehand.

Moroccan Othmane El Goumri won it out with a record course time of 2:08.06. Organisers said El Gourami, who served a two-year doping ban, “slipped through the net”.

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Sean Murray

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