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2012 New York City Marathon Application Is Now Open

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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06:  Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge towards Brooklyn at the start of the ING New York City Marathon as seen from the air on November 6, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Runners cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge towards Brooklyn at the start of the ING New York City Marathon as seen from the air on November 6, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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The application for the 2012 New York City Marathon is officially open, which means you can actually put that New Year's resolution into action (you didn't give up on it already, did you?)

Beginning at noon on the East coast, the ING New York City Marathon 2012 application went live, and will remain open until April 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Hurry, less than four months to apply!

If you've ever applied before (/raise hand), then you know that unless you meet one of the Guaranteed Entry qualifications -- anyone who has completed 15 or more New York City Marathons previously, for example -- then this is very much just an application. Essentially, by applying for $11, you are just hoping to have your name drawn out of a hat.

The drawings will be conducted using a random number selection algorithm to choose entrants from each applicant pool. The algorithm is obtained from www.random.org and is available in the public domain for verification purposes. The additional selection criteria are a valid credit card, future expiration date, and authorization to charge. The provided credit card will be charged when the entry is drawn; if the charge is not approved, the entry will be removed and another entry drawn from the pool.

If selected, most accepted applicants will pay $255 for entry to the marathon (the price for U.S. residents who are not members of New York Road Runners). But from everything I have read in race reports, and based on everything I have seen watching it on TV for the past few years, it is well worth every penny.

A day in New York City, seeing the sights in all five boroughs, taking in the fall foliage of Central Park ... with about 45,000 of your closest friends -- tough to imagine a better way to spend a Sunday morning in November. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go submit my application.

Have you applied for the NYC Marathon before? Are you like fellow contributor Denny Mayo and me, unlucky in the drawings? Or were you able to cross the finish line in Central Park? Share your best NYC Marathon stories in the comments!