Ballot system to be introduced for public places in next year’s Hong Kong marathon

New arrangement hopes to ease the congestion seen in previous years

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 August, 2016, 9:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 12:57am

A ballot system will be introduced for next year’s Standard Chartered Marathon in a bid to ease the congestion seen in the past.

The new arrangement will give applicants more time to register for the event, which will be held on February 12. The first come, first served basis of previous years had been criticised for being difficult to register with. But priority entry – for those who have finished other races within a specific time – remains first come, first served.

“In the past, within three to four hours, the entries were closed and a lot of applicants could not enter,” said William Ko Wai-lam, chairman of the organising committee.

Ko hoped the new ballot entry system, similar to that used in marathons in London and Tokyo, could offer a fairer system.

“We hope to give applicants more time to register without system congestion,” he said.

While the overall quota for the event remains at 74,000, the number of places in the 42km marathon category will increase from 15,500 to 17,500.

While application for priority entry starts today, the two-week registration for the public ballot begins at 10am on September 14.

Results of the first round will be announced on October 11 and 12, with a second round of the ­ballot to be announced on ­October 24.

Any spaces still available after the two rounds of selection would be given to charity entries. Around 300 places would be open for applicants who have not been selected but hope to take part in support of one of the three official charities of the event.

Next year’s route will be similar to this year’s, which began at Nathan Road, passed over the Tsing Ma Bridge and ended at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay. The starting time for the half marathon will be 15 minutes earlier this year, at 5.45am.