Limited Marine Corps Marathon race registrations available online next week

Runners start the 41st Marine Corps Marathon, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Arlington, Va. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

WASHINGTON — It will be “on your mark, get set, register” for runners looking to snag some coveted 2018 Marine Corps Marathon spots next week. For the first time in five years, the marathon will allow runners to claim a spot for the popular race online before the traditional lottery opens.

On Wednesday, March 21, the Marine Corps Marathon will have a “rush registration” option, which Marine Corps Marathon spokeswoman Ashley Topolosky described as an “online mad dash that affords runners instant access to entries without the uncertainty of the lottery.”

Beginning at 9 a.m. March 21, runners will have the opportunity to grab one of 11,000 available race entries. The rush registration, which will be on the marathon’s website, will cost $170 — the same price as those who enter through the lottery.

Thousands of other race entries will be available through the normal lottery process, and about 30,000 runners are expected to participate in the 2018 event.

While the rush registration will be available for 25 minutes, Topolosky said it’s likely the 11,000 spots will be taken before that time period ends.

“This year’s rush registration will sell out fast, and runners should log on right at 9 a.m. to guarantee their spot,” Topolosky said.

The last time the Marine Corps Marathon offered rush registration in 2013, runners broke the record for the fastest sellout in the history of marathon events when the entire field of entries was claimed in just two hours and 21 minutes, Topolosky said. Also, last month, all 3,100 spots for the Marine Corps 17.75k sold out in about seven minutes.

Marine Corps Marathon decided to offer rush registration again because of updates in available technology and to give runners the best experience it can, Topolosky said.

“Marine Corps Marathon really wants to give runners the best option to guarantee their spot,” she said. “So rush registration allows 11,000 to control their own destiny while bypassing the uncertainty of the lottery.”

For those unable to nab an entry, the lottery will open at noon EDT shortly after rush registration ends on March 21. Lottery access will continue through noon EDT on March 28. Participants will be notified of their lottery acceptance results on March 29.

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