NEW YORK — New York City Marathon runners can receive a refund of their entry fee after this year's race was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy.
When the event was called off last month, officials said they had a no-refund policy and hadn't decided whether to make an exception. The race organizer, New York Road Runners, informed entrants Thursday that they had three options to choose from — one of them a refund.
If runners do not reclaim their money, they can have a guaranteed spot in the 2013, 2014 or 2015 marathon. They would have to pay the entry fee again, but at the 2012 rate. Getting into the race is extremely competitive, making a guaranteed spot very valuable to runners.
Or they can accept a spot in March's NYC Half, paying the entry fee for the 13.1-mile race — though availability is limited.
NYRR President Mary Wittenberg said nirvana would have been to offer both a refund and free entry into a future marathon, but that wasn't affordable. The race had cancellation insurance, and Wittenberg said that once the payout was determined, the first priority was offering a refund.
We appreciate that people came here trying to support the city, and we appreciate the investment people made, she said. We never allowed ourselves an option that didn't include a refund.
In the weeks after the cancellation, Wittenberg said, runners had two main messages for NYRR. One was the possibility of a refund.
The other concerned the details of guaranteed entry into future races. Last month, organizers initially said runners could secure a spot into the 2013 event. But many out-of-town entrants feared they couldn't save up enough money or take enough time off work to make it back.