There are a few ways of getting into the marathon.
There's the ballot, good for age or international travel partner.
The ballot tends to open in January each you and is open for around a month. You are charged a handling fee whether you get in or not (this year it was around $11).
If you get in the cost of entry is around ??250. It is difficult to get in via the ballot (like entry into London).
For a Good For Age entry you have to have run a Marathon or Half Marathon in defined times depending on your age. For non New York Road Runner events there are only a limited number of places available via this route so if you can achieve a Good For Age time you would need to apply for one of these places as soon as entries open (again in January). The cost of entry is the same as entry via the ballot.
You could go for entry via an Internation Travel Partner (ITPs). For the UK there 2:09 Events and Sports Tours International (they're the 2 I know about in the UK).
I've done the New York Marathon twice via Sports Tours International.
With the ITPs you get guaranteed entry into the race but you must also purchase flight and accomodation or flight or accomodation from them as well as the race entry.
I have bought an entry and flight from them both times (arranged my own accomodation in New York).Cost wise using a ITP is probably the most expensive option but you get guaranteed entry. It can cost around ??300-400 more overall to do the marathon this way than by getting through the ballot or GFA entry (sort your own flight and accomodation out).
The only other way you could do the race is getting a place by running for a charity but I don't know much on this entry method.
I've done the race 3 times, doing it again this year. I use the midtown bus service from the New York Public Library. I find its good if staying around Times Square or Grand Central Station. The journey takes just over an hour and so out at Fork Wadsworth around 7 am (assumes 5:30 bus departure). Make sure you take warm clothing with you. Fort Wadsworth can be freezing in early November. Depending on which wave you start with you could be waiting at Fort Wadsworth for 2-3 hours.
There's free coffee, water and bagels at the start. I usually take something that I'm used to to eat while waiting at the start.
I go for the baggage option rather than poncho but it does mean there's a fair bit of walking to get your bag back at the finish. I just prefer to know I've got some warm dry clothes once I've finished. There's a subway station a few hundred yards southbound once you leave Central Park.
In previous years there's the chance to buy finisher t shirts etc and get you medal engraved the day after the race, at the finish line in Central Park. It opens early (7am) and it's best to get there early (it can get crowded).
There's usually 2 queues - medal engraving and merchandise. If you want to go into both areas get into the engraving queue. Once your medal is engraved you can go straight into the merchandise area. If you get in the merchandise queue you'll have to queue again for engraving.
I.hope this helps for people doing the run for the first time - enjoy the day, it's one that will stay in your memory for a very long time.
In previous years the results have been put on the Out And About website a few days after the event. The results are left on there for a while but I don't think they have previous years results - could try emailing the race organisers.