21/03/2014 07:00 GMT | Updated 20/05/2014 06:59 BST

Five Reasons to Run the New York City Marathon

The ballot is closed, results are drawn on 26th March and a few thousand lucky runners will get that congratulatory email they've been hoping for. Sadly many more will be left disappointed, however, the ballot isn't the only way to get into the New York City Marathon. Super speedy runners can qualify with a 'good for age' place, whilst those with a slightly slower pace can sign up with a tour company, like 2.09 Events that offer race packages for the NYCM as well as other international marathons. Alternatively, you can run with a charity package for guaranteed entry, such as Get Kids Going, the leading British charity at the New York City Marathon.

So that's how to get there, but here's why you should sign up;

  1. The legendary start. Frank Sinatra's epic 'New York, New York' rings out to mark the start of the 26.2 miles, unique to the New York City Marathon.
  2. It's a great way to see the city- admire the New York skyline from the Staten Island start, cross the Brooklyn Bridge with thousands of other runners, tick off the 5 boroughs as you wind your way through Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, before finishing in the iconic Central Park. What a way to see such an incredible city.
  3. Think of the shopping; the expo is one of the biggest in the world, selling any running related kit you could imagine. Plus the NYCM stash is unrivalled, not to mention the non-running shopping!
  4. You'll earn full bragging rights, with an impressive medal to boot. There is huge prestige attached to running the largest marathon in the world. Not forgetting the bright orange finisher's poncho!
  5. You are totally justified in working your way through the list of New York City's Top 10 burger joints. I made it through 4....

I loved every minute of the 2013 NYCM, and am keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that my name will be drawn for the 2014 race.