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Thousands of Hong Kong Marathon applicants to miss out after overwhelming public response

Around 31,000 people who registered to participate in next year’s Standard Chartered Marathon will miss out on the races after organisers received an overwhelming response to the event.

About 105,000 registered for the annual event, which is limited to just 74,000 participants.

For the first time, a ballot system similar to that used in the London and Tokyo marathons was introduced for the event.

Organisers said the ballot was intended to be a fairer system.

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Unlike the first-come, first-served system of previous years, which was criticised for causing registration difficulties, the new arrangement gave applicants more time to register for the marathon.

But priority entry – for those who have finished other races within a specific time – remains first-come, first-served.

Like previous years, the overall quota for the February 12, 2017 event remains at 74,000, but the number of places in the 42km marathon category has been increased from 15,500 to 17,500.

Organisers said the 105,000 applications were for all categories, including the marathon, the half marathon, the 10km race and priority entry applicants.

Organisers said 80 per cent of the 74,000 quota would be put up for the ballot system. Successful and wait-listed applicants will be informed via email on October 11, while unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email on October 12.

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2016

Organisers reminded successful applicants to settle their payment between October 11 and 18.

A second round of ­ballot applications will be announced on ­October 24 in which places freed up by successful applicants will be allocated to those on the waiting list.

The 2017 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 than this year’s, at 5.45am.