Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Marathon: new standards!

Today the B.A.A. announced the new qualifying standards for entry into the Boston Marathon. Their website is taking a long time to load due to everyone wanting to read the changes, but you can find the changes in the link below, too.

Beginning with the 2012 registration, the B.A.A. is instituting a rolling admission. Basically the faster qualifying times for each division are rewarded. For the first week of registration, those who ran their qualifier 20 minutes faster than the standard will get to register. During the second week, those who ran their qualifier 10 minutes faster can register. Later in the week, everyone will get to register but priorities are still given to the faster runners.

For the 2013 registration, the 59 second grace period in qualifying times will be abandoned and all qualifying times will be 5 minutes faster. The extra 5 minutes I was looking forward to with my 40th birthday coming up this year will no longer be available. Boo. I have a lot of friends who squeaked in with their qualifying times this year. Had it been 2013, they would not be training for Boston right now.

What about you? What are your thoughts? It all seems very fair to me and I like that it maintains the elite status of the Boston Marathon. It should be hard to get in to. Someday I hope to qualify and be there. What I would like though is for the B.A.A. to review the number of sponsered entries that are given out. Years ago a man I worked with got a bib because his wife worked for Adidas. It was his first marathon and he finished in over 5 hours. This year a woman I know got a free bib (and an all-expense paid trip, plus swag!). She'll finish in the 3:40 range (which will qualify her for 2012), but it will also be her first marathon. I wouldn't want a freebie because I think Boston is something that has to be earned. It bothers me to know qualified runners have been bumped because of the free entries sponsers have given away.

http://racingnews.runnersworld.com/2011/02/boston-announces-new-qualifying-times-registration-process.html?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-Blog-_-NewBostonStandards

7 comments:

Suzie Petunia said...
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Suzie Petunia said...

Looks like I'll be hunting down that illusive 3:40 for another 5 years. :) Kelly will NOT be happy about this!

I am glad they are keeping it competitive and therefore special. I agree about all the "freebies". Not fair!

I do have a friend who is raising something like $10,000 for a children's hospital in Boston (even though she lives and works in Oregon!) so she can run Boston with her husband who qualified (again) this year. What do people think about the fund raising entries?

Kelly(M&M) said...

Speechless. Makes me more bummed that St George did not go as planned! Oh well, I will get there eventually. :-)

Heather said...

I agree. I don't think the give away for non-qualifying entries should be so large. Takes away from those who worked so hard to get there!

Nikkei said...

I think eliminating the 59 second grace window is fair -- it never made sense to me to have it. I also think rolling admissions is fair, but I think that all "charity runners" etc. should have to qualify as well. I also think that the BAA should have left the qualifying times for men the same and only changed the times for the women. If they have too many runners to deal with, then they should make all charity runners meet the qualifying times, and they should also make all other runners raise money for charity. I feel bad for all of the people who were hoping to get their BQ in St. George this October for the 2012 Boston Marathon. Registration will be closed before October even gets here, and they'll have to run at least 5 minutes faster to qualify for 2013. The registration window is too early.

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Anonymous said...

I'm a little upset about Boston changing their standards. Mostly upset that they are now going to implement rolling admissions.

I may just find another marathon in Massachusettes to run. Besides the whole new qualifying standards and rolling admissions, the hotels take advantage of the event weekend too.

Anyway, if I run a 3:45 this spring in one of my marathons, at least I'll be able to say I BQed. Probably won't make it to run the race anytime soon, though.