TCS New York City Marathon - FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
This information was updated 4th June 2021, based on the information regarding the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. This information however is subject to change right up until the race date of the 2021 New York Marathon on November 7th 2021.
Q. HOW DO I ENTER THE RACE?
A. Book your travel package with us together with your Guaranteed Entry for the 2021 New York Marathon. As an Official International Travel Partner (ITP) of the TCS New York City Marathon, the Premier Event of the New York Road Runners, Sports Tours International can offer you a special offer price of guaranteed entry to the TCS New York Marathon 2021 when you purchase one of our travel packages.
Q. WHO CAN RUN THROUGH SPORTS TOURS INTERNATIONAL?
Please note that we can accept bookings from UK residents, irrelevant of their nationality. We can also accept bookings from residents of countries without an official ITPs (International Travel Partners). For a full list of countries, please visit HERE. If your country is not on this list, we are able to accept your booking.
Q. HOW CAN I SECURE A BOOKING AND HOW MUCH DO I PAY INITIALLY?
Please make your reservation online. Initially you will pay a deposit of £200 plus entry fee. If you upgrade your flights, you may be required to make a higher deposit payment. Balance payments (or full payment) is due 12 weeks prior to departure.
Q. WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR RACE DAY BAGGAGE?
A. As a part of our ongoing commitment to providing a better and safer post-race experience, this year’s TCS New York City Marathon required runners to select either a no-baggage or baggage option.
After you finish the marathon, early exit from Central Park and quick access to Family Reunion and public transportation (a map of the finish/post-finish area will be available soon)
A waterproof, wind-resistant Marathon Finish Line Poncho to keep you warmer and dryer, distributed at the exit from Central Park. Runners who choose this option will receive an Official Start Village Bag and Early Exit wristband at the expo. This bag may be used to bring pre-race items into Fort Wadsworth, but may not be checked for transport to the finish. (All items left at the start will be gathered and donated to Goodwill Industries or recycled. The wristband must be worn during the race and will identify runners for the early exit from Central Park.
Choosing this option allows runners to check a bag at the start for transport to a baggage retrieval area located up to an hour’s walk north of the finish. After retrieving their bag, runners can return south to the Family Reunion area.
If you do not select an option, Sports Tours International will automatically select the baggage option for you.
** Please note that the above will be applicable for 2022 onward. 2021 will see all runners given the poncho option, there will be no baggage drop in 2021.
Q. DO I NEED TO RUN FOR CHARITY?
A. No. You can book your own place and, only if you wish, you can run for charity – there is no requirement to run for charity, but many people use this race as a great opportunity to race money for a worthwhile cause. You can visit the charity section of our website for more information about some of the charities looking for people to run for them in New York.
Q. WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I RECEIVE PRIOR TO TRAVEL FOR THE TCS NEW YORK CITY MARATHON? THESE WILL BE SENT MID-OCTOBER TO YOU.
A . You will receive : a race registration card for the New York Marathon, via us from the New York Road Runners Club, your airline E- Ticket (if applicable), which will include all your travel information i.e. times of departure etc. A travel itinerary containing hotel information (if applicable) and information on who will be looking after you in NYC. All will be sent by email approx mid October. PLEASE NOTE: Your name on your E-ticket MUST match that on your passport.
Q. WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE AT AIRPORT TO CHECK IN ?
A. Please arrive with your E-TICKET & PASSPORT. To ease check-in, please arrive at least three hours prior to departure at the relevant check-in desk. IMPORTANT: If travelling in a group, with a partner or friends, the sooner you check-in the better the chance of being seated together, but this is not guaranteed.
Q. CAN I CHANGE MY FLIGHT?
A. Only if flights are available prior to tickets have been issued, but there will be amendment charges, which increase the closer to departure we are. It is not often we can change tickets after they have been issued due to ticket restrictions.
Q. CAN I PRE BOOK MY SEAT(s) ON THE AIRPLANE OR REGISTER ONLINE ?
A. In some cases dependent on airline it is possible to pre book your seating. In other cases, seating will have been pre assigned for you based. We will provide you with a contact number for the relevant airline to pre book seating. This can be done once tickets have been issued, approx 6-8 weeks prior to departure. NOTE – it is NOT possible to check in online.
Q. I HAVE SPECIFIC DIETARY REQUIRMENTS – CAN I PRE BOOK MY MEAL ?
A. YES you will see there is a place on the entry form for such information. If you do require a specific meal, i.e. a vegetarian meal, this MUST be done at an early stage. Please note that no meal booking can be taken within the last two weeks prior to travel.
Q. DO I NEED A PASSPORT ?
A. YES – THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. The following information is for United Kingdom passport holders only, other nationals including Eire should consult the appropriate embassy. Please look here for all information regarding entry requirements to the US – US entry requirements
ePassports effective 1st April 2016 -In preparation for customers travelling to the United States of America, please be aware that important changes have been made to passport requirements for the US. If you are travelling on the Visa Waiver Programme to the US on or after 1 April 2016, you must have an ePassport. If you are not sure if you already have an ePassport or not, simply check your current passport for the ePassport symbol on the front cover.
To find out more, please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa
Q. DO I NEED A VISA?
VISA Waiver Programme – All eligible international travelers who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization. For more information Apply for an ESTA here
Q. WHAT HAPPENS ON ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT IN NEW YORK ?
A. At the airport remember that you will be required to go through Passport Control. If you are travelling on one of our full packages, on arrival at the Airport, after passing through customs/immigration and collecting your luggage, you will be met by our representatives who will show you to the coaches for the transfer to your hotel. (except for those FLIGHT & ENTRY ONLY, OR ANY NON STANDARD FLIGHTS as transfers are not included). If you decide to make your own way, other than by our coach, please be sure to tell one of our representatives at the airport. We may, in some cases, use Gray Line shuttle bus services as a more efficient & quicker method of transport depending on the numbers involved. In other cases, we recommend you use the official yellow NYC taxi cabs outside the airport which will transport you to the Central Manhattan area for a set fare.
AIRPORT TO HOTEL TRANSFERS
The airport to hotel coach is booked to meet your flight at the scheduled time for arrival (for those travelling on our full travel packages only), plus allowing for all the coach passengers being processed at customs and baggage collection. If flights arrive early this may result in a delay on boarding the coach as they are not allowed to park and wait for passengers at the terminals and will arrive at the airport at the pre-booked time only. The same applies if your flight is late on arrival, a delay may occur because of coach booking times. The journey time, subject to traffic, to the hotels, can be slow – please understand these are circumstances beyond our control.
VERY IMPORTANT Please appreciate that it takes time for everyone to collect their baggage & get through customs. Therefore it may seem a long wait if you are one of the first through. We will get you going as quickly as we can, but if there seems a little delay, do try to be patient as it will be for a very good reason.
Q. CAN I OBTAIN INSURANCE THROUGH SPORT TOURS INTERNATIONAL?
A. Yes, we are able to sell travel insurance to our clients. Please visit the insurance page on our website for further information. Please note: If you already have an Insurance policy please check that this covers you specifically for the purpose of your trip. You will find that most policies DO NOT cover you for running a marathon in the event of injury etc. If unsure – please check with your Insurance Company.
Q. WHAT TIME CAN I CHECK IN TO THE HOTEL ?
A. Check-in time in American hotels is usually 4pm. If you should arrive early, your room may not be ready and you may have to wait a short time. If this happens you will be allowed to leave your luggage somewhere while the room is being prepared. You may also be required to leave a credit card imprint to cover incidentals, which will be released upon check out.
Q. DO I NEED TO REGISTER IN NEW YORK PRIOR TO THE RACE ?
A. YES – At registration you will receive your Running Number & D-Tag plus other important information THE REGISTRATION TAKES
PLACE AT THE: JACOB K JAVITS CONVENTION CENTRE – ON 11th AVENUE – BETWEEN 34th/38th St. To ensure that nobody runs using another persons name and number – US or International – EVERY runner MUST show their passport when picking up their number (for Puerto Rico ONLY, photo ID will be accepted). It is NOT possible to collect a race number for another runner , nor can anyone run in another persons number. You will not be allowed to collect a race number for a friend , nor will anyone be allowed to collect yours for you. BE WARNED NO PASSPORT = NO NUMBER. ALL runners MUST register on one of the following days : THURS 10 AM – 8PM / FRI 10AM – 8PM / SAT 9AM – 5PM. Remember that registration closes at 5 P.M on Sat – YOUR LAST CHANCE. No entry 1 hour prior to closing daily. There is NO REGISTRATION on race day. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to register. If you experience any difficulty go to the SOLUTIONS DESK in the registration area (you must your passport with you). Non runners are also welcome at the Expo.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS ON THE RACE DAY?
A. All information is contained in your race pack received at registration. Please read carefully. You must take your running number & D Tag. VERY IMPORTANT – You must fill out the details on the back of your race number in case you get into any difficulties during the race. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET.
Transport is included as part of your entry fee with Sports Tours International. Buses to the start are a one-way trip and are for officially registered runners only. Sorry, no unregistered friends or family on the bus! WHEN: 6am from NY Public Library on 42nd Street. We will leave our hotels around 5.30am. The bus times are allocated by NYRR & we do not have any control over this time. If you choose to ignore this time then it is entirely at your own risk & you may miss the start. We have been informed that bib times will be checked & those attempting to go on a later bus will be refused. Sports Tours International will take no responsibility for any deviation from our arrangements whatsoever.
Q. IS THERE ANY ADDITIONAL USEFUL INFORMATION YOU CAN OFFER ?
A. We offer a complimentary PRE-RACE TRAINING RUN On Saturday morning where our staff will be conducting a suitable short training jog prior to the marathon and will be available to give any advice you may require as you prepare for the BIG DAY. It will help you get familiar with the finish area in relation to your hotel for the BIG DAY. Check the notice board in your hotel for timings. There is also an offical NYRR 5km race in Central Manhattan on the Saturday morning at a chargeable extra. (2021 subject to change)
Q. ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE?
A. IMPORTANT UPDATE – June 2021
From NYRR – The safety of runners and spectators has always been New York Road Runners’ highest priority. We are fortunate to work in close collaboration with the NYPD and our federal, state, and city agency partners to ensure the safety of all of our events.
This year, NYRR has partnered with one of the world’s top security firms to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of our existing internal security program.
We are confident that their recommendations will further strengthen our already comprehensive security plan. There are a number of visible security enhancements in place for this year’s race, as well as several behind-the-scenes security elements.
It is our goal to be sure that we are implementing the needed security features while causing minimal impact on your race-week experience. There are a few changes throughout race week that you and your family should be prepared for: Baggage Inspection This year there will be more baggage inspection areas. All bags and items entering Marathon venues and events are subject to inspection by NYRR, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and the NYPD. To speed access and avoid longer lines, we strongly recommend against bringing a bag.