The Latest Wrinkle – New Boston Qualifying Times

These guys changed qualifying on us.


This blog just got a whole lot more interesting.  The Boston Athletic Association recently revamped the qualifying standards and registration process for the Boston Marathon.  Prior to the new standards coming out, barring some computer disaster where I couldn’t get to an internet connection and access the online registration, I was essentially guaranteed entry into the 2012 race – I was in.  Now, I’m not so sure.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the new standards and registration (see the full explanation here and here).  For the 2012 race, the qualifying times don’t change.  BUT, and it’s a big but, the registration process does.  Those runners that ran a marathon 20 minutes faster than their Boston qualifying time will get to sign up on the first day of registration, September 12, 2011.  While the B.A.A. standards revision page doesn’t explicitly say what happens on September 13, I’m assuming that day is also open for the 20 minutes and faster set to register.  Then on day 3 of registration, September 14, those runners with a time that’s at least 10 minutes faster than their BQ can sign up.  Day 4 is not defined but again I’m assuming that day remains open for the 10+ minute set to sign up.  On day 5 of the process, September 16, those who’ve met their standard by 5 or more minutes are allowed to register.

If the field isn’t full by week 2 of registration, on September 19, everyone else who has run a qualifying time may register.  BUT, and this is an even bigger but, the fastest remaining people out of this pool will be selected first, until the field is full.

The B.A.A. goes on to say “If space remains available after this two week process, registration will remain open to any qualifier on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached.” But who are they kidding?  We know there won’t be any more open spots 2 weeks into registration – hell, it filled up in 1 day last year!

My big question becomes: How many people out there have beaten their qualifying time by 20 minutes?  Are there enough people to fill the field before the third day when I’m allowed to register (my 3:19:14, run at the Dallas White Rock Marathon, is over 10 minutes faster than my 3:30 qualifying standard)?

So now I have 2 options:  1) I can wait until September 14, 3 days into registration, and sign up as soon as online registration opens for my group.  2) I can train my ass off and run a sub-3:10 and be basically guaranteed entry since I could then sign up early on the first day of registration.  I’ll sure as hell try option 2 but depending on how that goes, I may be forced to take option 1.

Well readers, you can thank the Boston Athletic Association for this nice little plot twist.  Allen’s road to Boston continues.  Stay tuned.


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8 Responses to “The Latest Wrinkle – New Boston Qualifying Times”

  1. stack Says:

    I’d like to think you’ll be fine as long as you are ready to register ASAP on your first available day. I’d like to know #s as well but I can’t imagine it filling with the 20 minute or faster runners. If it did that would be insane… and yes, it was insane that it filled in 8hrs this year.

    If I had to guess (and thats all it is… a guess). I would think it will fill w/ the 10 minute people.

    • Allen Strickland Says:

      I’ve gotta believe 10 minute folks will get in. But I’d also like to make it a moot point and be a 20 minute person, just to be safe. Regardless, should be interesting!

  2. Todd Says:

    I think you are likely in no matter what, but it will be fun to read about you chasing 3:10 (and 1:30).

    Like you, I need a 3:30 to qualify when I run Tobacco Road next month. I’ve sort of been shooting for 3:20 but was relying on it not mattering as long as I beat my qualifying time. Now I have a real delimna. Do I make 3:20 my exclusive goal to have a realistic shot at registering for Boston? Realistically I think my cushion is out the window now.

    • Allen Strickland Says:

      You can run 3:20, I know. Just gotta lock into low 7:30’s and hang on. Then we can both sign up early on day 3!

  3. Belle Says:

    I’ll put money down that you get in if you register on day 3 because I suspect that a rather large percentage of Boston runners each year fall in the “wiithin 5 mins of BQ” category. I would LOVE to have access to the actual statistics (as I really enjoy generating graphs).

    I only qualified by 3 minutes, so I need to ramp up my speed-work as well!


  4. Michael Kahn Says:

    Man oh! man.. you should have named your blog something like.. “Allen’s Sub 30min 10K” at least then it would only be you and the clock without all these other organizations involved.. the irony is sooo thick. I am 100% positive that you can register on the 3rd day and be in no prob, but why not try option 2. 🙂 btw.. i like ur comment plugin.. whatws the name of it? See you soon!!

    • Allen Strickland Says:

      Yo Kahn. If I made a 10K blog it would have to be more like “Allen’s Sub 40min 10K”. Even in my heyday, I couldn’t sniff a sub-30!

      The comment plugin is just the default 1 for wordpress. I think the widget is “recent comments” or something like that.

      And again, sick marathon dude! When’s the next one? Sub 2:40?

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