The New York City Triathlon will move to have a lottery-based entry system for 2011. This was decided to eliminate the online race to be counted in the triathlon. Last year’s triathlon slots were taken only in a matter of minutes by roughly around 19, 700 triathletes who wanted to join the event. The online registration then was a first-come first-served policy.
The Cherry Blossom Ten Mile run in Washington used the lottery system for this year’s race. Phil Stewart, director, shared that the lottery helped do away with frantic online registration, site freezes and the feedback if the applicants got in or not.
Using the lottery system is not entirely new to the triathlon. The Ironman Championships in 1983 used it to fill 205 slots out of the 1,800 spots in the race. In 2004, the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon followed suit for its 2,000 spots. In Burley, Idaho, the Spudman Traithlon last year had its participants picked through the lottery system.
The lottery system will allow the registration process to cover several weeks. Triathletes can go online within the given span of time, forward their entry and be given a number assigned to them. When the registration period is over, an electronic drawing will determine who will be the participants for the 2011 New York City Triathlon.
Todd Bellino of signmeup.com explains how the lottery system works hand in hand with the organizers’ criteria on qualified entries like age, geography, number of times the person completed the race and etc.
“We plug the data into an algorithm and it starts to accept or decline applicants. The organizer just has to decide on the criteria,” said Bellino.
Race director, John Korff said that the registration will still be on November 1 and will most likely be closed two days later. He hopes to notify all applicants whether they got in or not through emails by November 4.