Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Qualifying Times in Effect for 2013 Boston Marathon

A couple of months ago I was on the BAA site searching for information about qualifying standards for Boston. The FAQ site contained the answer to my particular situation, with my birthday falling in between two qualifying times. The answer heavily leaned in my favor and I was excitedabout it. I wanted to verify the information a second time, to make sure I understood it correctly. I had read it days before but then, it was taken down. I wondered, "How odd." I knew somethingwas up. The thought came to my mind, "I hope they are not thinking of lowering the qualifying times." Then the unthinkable happened.

On Feb 16,2011 a press release came out:

B.A.A. To Offer Fastest Qualified Runners
Early Acceptance Into 2012 Boston Marathon With New Registration Process.

New Qualifying Times In Effect For 2013 Boston Marathon.

In a nutshell, if you want to run Boston, you have got to run faster. Just how fast you ask? If you already qualified and want to register in 2012, the process has changed in favor of the fastest runners. For example, registration in Day 1 (Sept. 12) , are for those who ran 20 minutes or more faster than their qualifying times. If you fall short of that, then you can try in Day 3 (Sept. 14)of the registration, where your qualifying time might be 10 minutes or better. If that's not you, try Day 5 (Sept. 16), where your time could be 5 minutes better than your qualifying time for your age and gender.

After the first week, if additional space remains, then registration will open to all qualifiers who meet the qualifying standards by any amount of time. According to the press release, "If the field is not filled at the conclusion of the two weeks, then registration will remain open and qualifiers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached."

The qualifying times for the 2012 Boston Marathon will not change from recent past years since the standards had been previously announced and have been in effect since September 2010.

On top of "rolling admission" and the new performance-based process registration, qualifying times for Boston Marathon 2013 are going to be made more stringent. Five minutes will be dropped across the board for both men and women. The adjusted qualifying times will go into effect on September 24, 2011, and are as follows:

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 and older  4:55:00 5:25:00

This is the aftermath of the 2011 class, when the qualified field closed in eight hours, three minutes. More than anything, you're competing against the best of the best, Boston is like the Harvard of running. What does this mean to me or any female turning 45 one month after the qualifying month starts in Sept 1011? I was so looking forward to getting 10 more minutes using the old qualifying standards. After Sept. 2011, I only get 5 minutes reprieve. Not only that. If I want to increase my chances of getting in, I have to shoot for 20 minutes or better for my qualifying time. Translation: hit 3:35! I am tired already thinking about it!

1 comment:

  1. I may have to hire an attorney to figure this out...