OGDEN -- Last year, entries for the 2012 Ogden Marathon sold out in three days, and entries for the half marathon sold out in two hours.
For the 2013 Zions Bank Ogden Marathon, organizers hope a lottery system will equalize the chances of competing in the 26.2 mile event.
More than 9,000 participants from 39 states and five countries competed in one of the multiple races -- including the marathon, the half marathon, the 5K race, the Kids K race and team relay -- at the 2012 event. Many late entrants had to be turned away.
"We feel this will be a more fair system for our runners," GOAL Foundation Executive Director Jenny Scothern said.
For a $5 processing fee, interested parties can register for the lottery. Registration begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 21, for a chance to be one of the 3,000 full marathon and 3,500 half marathon runners. The same number of runners competed in the marathon and half marathon in May.
"It's a gorgeous course -- early spring, down Ogden Canyon, down South Fork Canyon and around Pineview Reservoir," GOAL Foundation Chairman Kevin Burns said. "A lot of people want the opportunity to run through those canyons unperturbed. It's really nice."
Entrants can register for the lottery individually or as a group of up to 10 people. Selections will be made electronically. All entrants -- both selected and rejected -- will be notified by 5 p.m. Nov. 1, GOAL Foundation officials said.
If selected, entrants have until 5 p.m. Nov. 15 to complete their race registration. The entry fee is $85 for the full marathon and $80 for the half marathon.
The lottery will be only for the half and full marathons. Registration for the other events, such as relay team, 5K and Kid's Kilometer races, will open at
9 a.m. Nov. 15, following the lottery announcement.
VIP registration will not be limited by the lottery, either. The VIP program enables runners to make an upfront donation of $300 to secure a spot in either race. VIP registration opens at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 and allows a limited number of runners to make the up-front contribution to ensure their spot.
Guaranteed entries will also be provided to individuals who donate to the official charity partners of GOAL Foundation's "Get Out and Give!" program. The 2013 race will benefit Youth Impact and the Ogden Symphony Ballet.
To examine the idea of a lottery format, the board created a lottery task force, which looked at the St. George Marathon, Houston Marathon and the Cherry Blossom Marathon in Macon, Ga., for ideas.
Ogden Convention and Visitors Bureau director Sarah Toliver said the GOAL Foundation has done all of the research in order to keep the race successful.
Organizers will keep an eye on the success of the lottery, as it's in its first year.
"We'll always evaluate it," Scothern said. "We feel we've come up with a good system this year, but we'll always evaluate it."