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Twin Cities Marathon Sells Out; Houston Adopts Lottery System

Road racing continues to thrive in the United States as participation numbers keep growing.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

There was more evidence today that the strong growth in running event participation in the United States has not abated.

Twin Cities in Motion, the organizers of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, October 3, in Minneapolis/St. Paul, announced that their event had already reached its 11,200 runner capacity.  Runners from all 50 states and 14 nations have filled the largest field in the race’s 29-year history.

“This great fall tradition celebrates the aspirations of the every day marathoner, as well as the professional athletes,” Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman said through a prepared statement.  “The community continues to support our events and we thank all of our participants for choosing to run their fall race with us.”

The race recorded 8,428 finishers last year, but there were also 9,002 finishers in the companion 10-mile, 10K and 5K events.

A small number of additional entries, Brophy Achman said, were available through the event’s Community Partners Fundraiser Entry Program.  More information on that program is available at

In related news, organizers of the Chevron Houston Marathon, scheduled for January 30, 2011, have decided to adopt a lottery entry system to manager better growing demand from runners.  The race had previously used a first come, first served system.

“Demand for our races has never been greater, and we believe the lottery is the fairest system to offer all runners the same opportunity to participate,” remarked Wade Morehead, executive director of the Houston Marathon Committee through a media release.  “The lottery provides ample time for runners to complete their registration as our top priority is participant satisfaction.”

To enter the lottery, which includes the event’s Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, runners must register on the event website at during a 17-day period starting at 6:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, July 27, and extending to 11:59 p.m. CST on Thursday, August 12. The Houston Marathon Committee will reveal the participants for each race on Tuesday, August 17.

The combined participant cap for the races will remain at 22,000 with 11,000 reserved for each of the marathon and half-marathon fields.  The 2010 edition of the race, the 38th, recorded 6,351 finishers in the full marathon, plus 9,982 in the half-marathon and 3,024 in a companion 5K.

A Race Results Weekly survey done at the end of 2009 of 200 well-established road races found that USA road race finishers increased by 10.8% from 2008 to 2009.  A smaller sample of 75 well-established events which took place in the first quarter of 2010 showed a 16.2% increase in finishers compared to last year.