Last Updated: Aug 09, 2018 06:41PM EST

What are NYRR's rules of competition?

The following Rules of Competition apply to all competitors in NYRR race and events. We ask that you also review the Code of Conduct that describes the expected behavior of all our event participants.

New York Road Runner events are organized and directed under USA Track & Field (“USATF”) rules and regulations. Entrants must also comply with City of New York Parks & Recreation and NYRR rules and regulations.


Event Officials: All participants must follow the instructions of Event Officials (NYRR staff and volunteers). For participants’ safety, no skates, strollers (including running strollers), or animals are permitted. Costumes covering the face or any non-formfitting bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body are not permitted.

NYRR reserves the right to change the details of the event, including delaying, canceling or suspending the race due to inclement weather or other potential safety risks. Participants must retire at once from the race if ordered to do so by Event Officials, medical staff, or any governmental authority, including fire and police officers.

Any participant who conducts themselves in an unsportsmanlike manner or who is offensive by action or language to Event Officials, other participants, volunteers or spectators may be disqualified. Protests concerning the conduct of participants will be accepted for up to 24 hours after the posting of results by contacting an Event Official or contacting NYRR Customer Service.

Participant Entry & Race Bib

Event Application: All participants must provide accurate information when filling out the event application, including age, gender and emergency contact information. A participant may not change or add a team affiliation after an event has started. 

Race Bib: Your official participant bib (running number) must be fully visible at all times and worn on the front of your torso. The timing device (B-Tag) is attached to the back of your running number; in order to ensure an accurate time, please do not fold or wrinkle the bib or cover it with a jacket, runner belt, water bottle or any other item. Participants who run the race without their bib properly attached and displayed risk not having their finish time and split times recorded and not being listed in the results and/or not receiving 9+1 credit for finishing the race. If your bib is lost on the course, please report it an Event Official upon completion of the race. Only after verifying that your time was recorded at the start and the runner completed the race will 9+1 credit be provided.

No Transfer Permitted: Runner bibs are non-transferable; you cannot give or sell your bib or tag to another person or participate with an unofficial bib or tag. A participant not wearing their assigned bib and tag or found to have transferred, bought or sold entry into an NYRR event or otherwise permits any other individual to wear the race number assigned to them will be disqualified and suspended from subsequent NYRR events.

No Refunds: Entry fees are non-refundable and may not be deferred or transferred.

The Start

Start Corrals: Participants are responsible for arriving at the start corrals assigned to them, based on Best Pace, and entering at the designated corral entry points in advance of the corral closing times. Any participant who climbs the fence or otherwise enters improperly may be disqualified. For participant safety, once a corral is closed for entry, late arriving participants must report to the last corral. Please follow the instructions of Event Officials when entering corrals.

Race Start: The race will be started by an air horn, unless otherwise noted. All participants must be behind the starting line at the start of the race and must follow the instructions of the race starter.


Official Times: Your official (net) finish time is recorded by the timing system from the time you cross the starting line to when you cross the finish line. This time determines the order of finish and award winners—except the top finisher awards, which will be determined by gun time (the time from the starting horn until the runner crosses the finish line). Start timing mats will be removed 10 minutes after the start of the race unless the size of the field warrants keeping the start open longer. After the start has closed, net times will not be recorded and times will be calculated from the start horn. If a runner starts after the timing mats have been removed, no start time will be added.

The Course

Course Marking: NYRR events are conducted on USATF Certified courses (except for youth events). Participants must stay within course boundaries, as designated by barriers, traffic cones, delineation and/or other markings, at all times, as well as recognizing and understanding event signage and symbols relating to the course, directions and facilities and following the instructions of course marshals. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. In accordance with City of New York Parks & Recreation rules, please use only the toilet facilities provided.

Course Monitoring: If you have not completed the entire course, do not cross the finish line or you may risk disqualification. Participants with missing or irregular split times at official timing checkpoints will be reviewed and may be disqualified. If you must leave the course, you should rejoin at the point you exited. No participant, after leaving the course, will be allowed to rejoin either for the purpose of gaining a place or to pace or assist another competitor.

Assistance: Pacers or other participants who are not registered in the event are not permitted, except for officially designated pacers. A participant who receives assistance during an event from anyone other than official medical personnel may be disqualified.

Bandits: Any individual who is not officially registered may not join the event or accompany any participant in the event. Any person without an official bib will be directed to leave the course immediately.

The Finish

Time Limit: In the interest of safety, and to allow streets and park drives to re-open as scheduled, race courses will remain open to all participants who are able to maintain a 13:45-per-mile pace (based on the time when the last runner crosses the start line). Those participants who are not able to maintain this pace should be aware that fluid stations and other course amenities may not be available, and participants in races staged on city streets may be asked to move to the sidewalks. Late participants will be able to cross the finish line, but they may not be timed and recorded as an official finisher. They can contact our NYRR Customer Service to request 9+1 TCS New York City Marathon qualifying credit for the race.

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited from all NYRR events and race venues:

  • A weapon of any kind, including firearms, knives, Mace, etc.
  • Any dangerous item or “dual-use” item that could be considered dangerous, including hammers, saws, sharp objects, umbrellas, etc.
  • Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks, toxic chemicals, and explosives
  • Large packages, coolers, tents, and lean-tos
  • Duvets, sleeping bags, and large blankets or comforters
  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal substances of any kind
  • Unmanned aerial devices, drones, survey balloons, photography mini-copters, and any flying device with an on/off switch.
  • Opaque trash bags and any non-transparent plastic bags (Clear trash bags are allowed.)
  • Animals/pets
  • Folding chairs, camp chairs, and tables of any kind
  • Glass containers
  • Containers of liquid larger than one liter
  • Strollers
  • Suitcases and rolling bags
  • Backpacks and any bags other than the clear bag check bag 
  • Camelbaks® and any type of hydration backpack (Fuel belts and hand-held water bottles are allowed.)
  • Weight vests and any vests with multiple pockets, especially those that can be used as a water reservoir
  • Costumes that cover the face and any bulky outfits that extend beyond the perimeter of the body (Form-fitting outfits are allowed.)
  • Props, including sporting equipment, military and fire gear, and signs larger than 11”x17”
  • Selfie-sticks and any camera mount or rig that isn’t attached directly to the head or torso


Violation of Rules of Competition

If a violation of the Rules of Competition is alleged to have occurred by an Event Official, appropriate information will be forwarded to the Event Manager, who will document the infraction. An initial determination of the nature of the violation will be made and referred to the NYRR Rules Committee, who will review the infraction and determine a resolution.

The participant(s) involved will receive written notice of the initial determination within 30 days of the event. The participant will have an opportunity to respond with any additional clarification within 14 days of the date of the initial written notice.


Failure to cross all official timing checkpoints/course cutting: May result in disqualification from official results, suspension from subsequent NYRR events for up to one year or suspension from the following year’s event.

Transfer of race number:  Any registered participant found to have transferred, bought or sold entry into an NYRR event or otherwise permits any other individual to wear the race number assigned to them will be disqualified and suspended from subsequent NYRR events for up to one year or suspended from the following year’s event.

Unauthorized Assistance:  Any registered participant who receives unauthorized assistance may be disqualified. This includes any registered participant who permits an unregistered runner to run with them for any part of the event.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  Any customer who conducts themselves in an unsportsmanlike manner, including, without limitation, the providing of false or misleading information on their event application may be disqualified or prohibited from participating in future NYRR events.

Instructions of Event Official:  Any registered participant who refuses to follow the instructions of an Event Official may be disqualified.

Public Urination:  Any registered participant who urinates/defecates in public will be disqualified and risks Police summons.

Other Violations: The Rules Committee will assess penalties for any violations not specifically addressed taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances. In addition, the Rules Committee reserves the right to apply other penalties, based on the circumstances, especially for repeat offenders.

Individuals disqualified from a race will be removed from the race results and may be barred from future NYRR events. NYRR reserves the right to reject any entry and to disqualify and bar any individual from any NYRR event. This rejection/disqualification may be based on, but is not limited to the violation of the aforementioned rules.

NYRR Code of Conduct

At all NYRR events, participants should conduct themselves in a courteous manner, being respectful to fellow participants, volunteers, event staff and members of the community in addition to following the Rules of Competition. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be allowed.

Proper race etiquette is required at all times, including being aware of announcements and instructions from Event Officials and your surroundings.


Please provide enough time for yourself to pick up your bib number and enter your corral. Only enter the corral you are assigned to or a slower one and be respectful of the event staff. Please be respectfully and quiet during pre-race announcements and the playing of the National Anthem prior to the start.


The use of headphones is strongly discouraged. If you must wear headphones, be extra-aware of your surroundings and make sure you can hear announcements as well as being aware of other participants around you.

Mobile Devices

The use of mobile devices for photography or social updates during the event is strongly discouraged, as it distracts your awareness of other participants around you.


In accordance with City of New York Parks & Recreation rules, please use only the toilet facilities provided. Please be considerate in portable-toilet lines; don’t cut in line or into another line. Never urinate in the corrals, at the post-finish walk-off, or in park woods or you may risk disqualification and Police summons.

Running Courtesy

While participating in the event, don’t run in groups of three or more abreast; wide groups become barriers to other runners. Don’t stop abruptly to drink at an aid station or to tie your shoelaces. Watch where you spit and snot as to avoid hitting other participants. If someone running behind you says, “On your left,” move to your right to let them pass. If someone says, “On your right,” move to your left.


NYRR events are conducted in public places, either NYC Parks or streets. Please be responsible with depositing any trash in the provided receptacles, including at aid stations. Be careful when discarding cups at aid stations so as to avoid hitting other participants.


If you encounter a runner in distress, offer assistance and/or report the situation to the nearest aid station or call the event Medical Emergency line: 866-705-6626.