New Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards

Hey Folks!  Have you heard about the new Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards for 2020?  I just received this e-mail from Runner’s World that included an article pertaining to the new standards, where the time cut-offs lie, and where a few of the time windows lie for entry if you run faster than your qualifying standard.

“Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”

The Runner’s World article written by Sarah Lorge Butler and published on September 27, 2018 asks the question, “Do you think the new qualifying standards are fair?”  You may even participate in an online poll to voice your opinion.

I think the reality of the qualifying standards is and always has been, that Boston continues to be quote “the holy grail for serious distance runners”, per Sarah Lorge Butler.  Read the article for yourself, but the cap of 30,000 registrants must be maintained regardless of the newfound speed of the general population of marathoners.  Read the article here – 

The limit to the number of registrants, part in due to the original necessity to limit because of the narrowness of the streets out in Hopkinton where the race starts, and the increasing popularity of the race and registrants, has evolved and progressed thru the years.

In fact, it was declared back in 1970 by the B.A.A. officials that “this is not a jogging race!”

“A runner must submit the certification of either the Long Distance Running chairman of the Amateur Athletics Union of his district or his college coach that he has trained sufficiently to finish the course in less than four hours. This is not a jogging race”

The history of the marathons exclusivity is somewhat fascinating in how it’s morphed and evolved.

My humble opinion on the fairness of this new standards is that Yes, I do believe it will eliminate the “grey area” on qualification times.  The modern era of running has also metamorphasized and evolved into faster runners, better science and knowledge on training, and an overall larger percentage of individuals in general that participate in the sport.  Thus if we want to maintain the prestige of Boston and its’ integrity, the field must be adapted.

What Can You Do to Get There?

My humble recommendations are to first train intentionally, if you are going after a B.Q. (Boston Qualifier time).  Pick your goal qualifying marathon to nail down your B.Q. time and be sure that it is certified so that the time you run even counts.  Also, make sure that it is within the window of time for you to submit towards whichever Boston Marathon race you want to participate in.  Typically, you qualify the year prior and then submit for entry for whatever age you will be on the day of your desired Boston Marathon.

There are many good and fast qualifying courses out there, but of course my favorites are the only two that I can speak towards where I was able to run qualifying times; Grandma’s Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.  But you can find qualifying marathons thru these links;

If you are indeed going to train intentionally, part of that training should include some goal marathon pace runs, speed work like the Yasso 800’s (which are also a great marathon time predictor workout), and strength and mobility work 2-3 times per week.

Happy Marathon News Monday!!!  Quotting Carrie Tollefson and her CTolleRun mantra, “GET AFTER IT!”