Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Marathon has Rolling Admissions? A good thing- Yeah if you're fast

 If you have been training really hard to qualify for the Boston Marathon, 2012 will be your last opportunity at the current qualifying times. The BAA has released new qualifying times, five minutes faster than previously(now the same as Gansett Marathon) to start in 2013. They also will be instituting a rolling registration process to allow faster runners to enter first. So not only will you have to qualify at five minutes faster than in previous years but you, in essence, have to qualify 25 minutes faster due to the staggered race entry dates. This certainly will make it easier for the fast guys to ensure that they will get in, but definitely will leave out those runners that "barely" made it. What I like about the Boston Marathon is that it allows runners from all backgrounds to set a reasonably achievable goal with a prestigious race at its culmination. My concern with the new rolling entry is that these people will be shut out of the race after working so hard to get in. When I first started running, every race I did was to "qualify for Boston" and it took me a year, and 6 or so marathons and a realization that my previous "training" plan wasn't working, before I qualified. I don't know if I would have kept trying though if that standard was seemingly out of reach. While I definitely like the fact that it will be a much faster field from a competitive stand-point, I think setting the bar too high may deter some runners from ever starting.
Who knows? Maybe everyone will rise to the challenge. Just glad they're not reducing the charity field- such an important part of the marathon.
2012 rolling registration dates

- Day 1 (Sept. 12) - Qualifiers who have met their age and gender qualifying standard 2:50 for me and males under 34 and 3:20 for Am and females under 34

- Day 3 (Sept. 14) - Qualifiers who have met the standard set for their age/gender by a margin of 10 minutes or faster may apply. 3:00 and 3:30, respectively

- Day 5 (Sept. 16) - Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying time by a margin of 5 minutes or faster may apply. 3:05 and 3:35

- Day 8 (Sept. 19) - Open to all qualifiers to register. 3:10 and 3:40

- Day 12 (Sept. 23) - Registration closes for qualified applicants. Registered qualifiers will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 28.

The rolling admission process will remain in place for 2013.

 For 2013, the new qualifying times:

Age Group    Men          Women

18-34        3:05:00          3:35:00

35-39       3:10:00           3:40:00

40-44       3:15:00           3:45:00

45-49       3:25:00           3:55:00

50-54      3:30:00            4:00:00

55-59      3:40:00            4:10:00

60-64        3:55:00          4:25:00

65-69       4:10:00           4:40:00

70-74      4:25:00           4:55:00

75-79      4:40:00            5:10:00

80+        4:55:00             5:25:00

UNRELATED: On Thursday Feb 17th, Amber and other snowshoe racers can be see on NH Chronicle(WMUR) at 7:30.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of things. When I first started running Boston 25 years ago the qualifying time was 2:50. It didn't matter the age or gender. You busted your butt to get in. My club (GLRR) back then would send 2 bus loads of qualifiers. I look at todays standards and laugh. Don't get me wrong, people work hard to achieve these standards but these times are achievable by a common person. The old standards were meant to make sure only Road Racers got in. Not the weekend warrior.

    One thing you missed in the new Qualifying standards is that people with 10 consecutive Boston marathons can get in on day 1.

    This is my 25th and with that I don't even have to qualify anymore. It's good to be old and stupid enough to race this every year. I'm targeting a sub 3 hour race which puts me 35 minutes faster then the qualifying mark I have to hit. That's just plan dumb.

    Hope the two of you are racing (notice how i didn't type running) Boston this year.