Seriously, politics and religion are less contencious.
But since you asked...
I've been running in a very popular DC race for a couple years - the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler
. They have a great lottery with features I hope the GC adopts, as I think they can be adapted to NHC. In a nutshell...
- Open registration for the lottery over 2 weeks.
- Registration is well ahead of time so those who get in can prepare.
- Elite athletes are guaranteed entry (I'd propose that NHC regional winners get guaranteed entry for the next year to keep a pool of great brewers in the game).
- Volunteers get guaranteed entry for the next year (this race has NO shortage of volunteers).
- Those unlucky few who get locked out multiple years in a row also get guaranteed entry.
- All remaining slots go to everyone else randomly.
I have never heard a complaint about this lottery.