Boston Marathon Changes

Boston: Boston Marathon Finish Line
Image by wallyg via Flickr

So… the running buzz today is about the Boston Marathon and the ch-ch-ch-changes happening.  If you’re not familiar with the info, the basics are:

1. A new rolling admission process will be implemented so those with the fastest qualifying times get entry first.

2. Qualifying times will be tougher as the time limits are going to be faster by 2013.

You can read more about the official specs, including the times for various age groups, on

However… all this does  for me:

1. Re-affirm that qualifying for Boston isn’t really a priority for me at this time, if ever. I’d probably have to be 60+ to qualify! (I need to regain my MTH before I could even ponder the idea of Boston anyway.)

2. Since this year the race was full in 8 HOURS, it seems logical to make the race standards more elite… it’s considered to be THE elite race! The admission process is a bit disheartening though, because there is a chance that you’ll still not be “good enough”, even if you’re good enough.

3. It would be absolutely amazing to go to Boston for the marathon as a SPECTATOR.  That city knows how to respect a race!

What are your thoughts on the changes in the Boston Marathon?


  1. The only way I’d meet the qualifying times for Boston would be on a bicycle! That said, from what I’ve read:

    1) They probably need to look at the issue of qualifying times generally. Amby Burfoot had a great article in Runner’s World a couple years ago about a more rational way the qualifying times could be set. Men’s times would be relaxed slightly while younger women would have times tightened and older women would have times relaxed.

    2) It does seem truly odd to pitch Boston as a race for elites yet keep 20% of entries for charities, sponsors, promotions. There was a post that suggested having two separate marathons–a totally elite marathon for time qualifiers only and then a second marathon for the masses. Is there only one marathon in Boston each year? San Francisco has three.

    • Correction: San Francisco will have two in 2011. The North Face Endurance Challenge (which includes a marathon among its various races) actually begins and ends in Sausalito. As a San Francisco resident, I wouldn’t mind a third marathon; any serious race event that starts early isn’t a problem. What I really hate is the Bay-to-Breakers 12K–for too many people, it’s not a race but just an excuse to get their drunk on.

  2. I’m fine with tougher standards, but I dont like the tiered registration so much. Just set an even lower standard if that’s what it takes. I need to work harder anyway 🙂

    • Exactly! The tougher standards are one thing and I’m okay with that… Not like I was close to qualifying anyway. However, the admission stuff is just mean. Can you imagine how heartbreaking it would be if you got your qualifying time, were one of the first to register and STILL be denied because there were people faster. That would be so sad…

  3. As I said on Twitter the other day, you are more than welcome to come stay with me and watch it. It really could be a party with you, me and Lindsay. 🙂 And, like you, I’m sad for the people who will work their asses off to qualify, only to still be shut out because they still weren’t “fast enough.” I’m fine with never running it – I would not want to do all those long runs in our Boston weather anyway. I’d much rather train for longer distances when it’s a bit warmer. It’s easier to strip off clothes as you go than to be running through layers and layers of wet clammy clothes. Ugh.

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