I am copying this directly from the email that was sent to me and the pdf on the homepage of the Houston Marathon. This is the race that I plan to do in January, but things might change from here until then. For instance, I may not get in to the race at all. I shortened it a bit, but you can click here for the full press release.
Houston Marathon Committee Implements Lottery System for Marathon, Half Marathon Race Registration. New approach gives runners equal opportunity to register for popular events HOUSTON (Jun. 7, 2010) – In order to provide runners an equal opportunity to participate in the annual Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, the Houston Marathon Committee is adopting a lottery system for the 2011 races.
Utilizing open registration, the 2010 marathon and half marathon sold out in less than 60 hours. Switching to a lottery selection process gives all runners the same opportunity to register and be selected to run in the races. The lottery eliminates challenges caused by high-traffic volume to the event website, which resulted in individuals missing registration before the races reached their field limits.
To enter the lottery for the 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon or Aramco Houston Half Marathon, runners must register on the event website (houstonmarathon.com) during a 17-day period starting at 6:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, July 27 and extending to 11:59 p.m. CST on Thursday, August 12. The Houston Marathon Committee will announce participants for each race on Tuesday, August 17. The combined participant cap for the races will remain at 22,000 with 11,000 reserved for each of the marathon and half marathon fields.