There are two well known marathons in the U.S....the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon. This year, the Boston Marathon implemented their new registration process and will be enforcing their new, lower qualification standards next year. Apparently this was a mutual feeling, because the NYC Marathon has now come out and said that starting in 2013, they will also have a lower qualifying standard.
The NYC Marathon is going to have a very fast qualifying standard. For a guy my age, the current qualifying time is 2:55:00. In 2013, that time will be 2:45:00. A whole 10 minutes! So for all of you runners out there that want to run in an "elite" race, it looks like you should be aiming for the NYC Marathon.
Also, they will be changing their lottery system. Currently, if you don't get selected during 3 attempts, your 4th attempt was guaranteed to be successful. Not any more.
You can read a short little article on this news here: http://running.competitor.com/2011/10/news/nyc-marathon-lowers-guaranteed-entry-qualifying-times_39888