For you, Dennis:
Aside from Boston, whose restrictive qualifying times mean it has the fastest finishers (37.5% re-qualify), these marathons produce the highest percentage of qualifiers for the years 2006 to 2008. Here's your next chance:
- Bay State, Lowell, Mass (37.1 %) Oct 18
- Mohawk- Hudson River, Albany, NY (33.4%) Oct 11
- Inland Trail,Elyria, OH (29.7%) Nov 11th
- Last chance for Boston, Columbus, OH ((29.7%) Feb 14th
- California International, Sacramento (26.6%) - I actually ran this course; beautiful!!! Dec 6th
- Tucson (26.2%) Dec 13th
- Newport, OR (24.8%) June 5th
- Tallahassee, FL ((24.6%) Feb 7th
- Run for the Red, Poconos, PA (24.5%) May 16th
- Windglass, Corning, NY (24.5%) Oct 4th
This top 10 list varies greatly from a list I ran across recently online, which quoted St. George (the race I managed to Boston qualify and PR) and Chicago, to name a couple of the more popular. Of those listed, I can't say I've even heard of any other than California International. Oh, and yes, I have heard of Tucson. Anyway, I guess everyone has their own lists which if you look at it statistically, this makes no sense.
I'm not a huge promoter of Runner's World magazine, I think there's a lot of garbage in there that is so worthless, and most of the time it's the same song, different verse...as in, the material in this month is the same as last month, only written in different lyrics. I don't need to know how to run a faster 5K in 10 different ways. A 5K sucks the lung right out from my insides; I do not need to know how to do it better, it will always hurt. But for the beginner runner.... well, it might actually be helpful.
Yet I still read the magazine because I'm an information junkie and I can't get enough about running no matter the source!! So when this month's issue had a boatload of Boston stuff intermixed in the norm of "4-weeks plan to get you across any finish line" I flipped there immediately. A lot of interesting information, none of course that will land me a faster time across the Boston finish line, but more just trivial stuff about Boston in general and more specifically about how the majority of us out there worked our butts off to cross the finish line in the required time, are actually in the minority of those running Boston. Most entered are in by means of a charity, invited athletes (don't we all wish we fell into this category??), entries for sponsors, entries for cities, media promotions, and other invitations. It's estimated that only 80% of those entered actually "qualified" by the BAA standards set. To me, that's just insane! I know I worked very hard and no matter how I finish, I am very proud to be amongst the 80% that earned their way there.
As one article quoted, which I full-heartily agree: No matter how many times I get there, I will never arrive. I had a nice Boston talk tonight with a friend of Dennis' and it did my mind a lot of good. I will always look at Boston as the Superbowl of running and I will cherish every time I qualify and I can't imagine I will fully ever arrive. Thanks, Steve.
zero athletic performance today, it's a taper for Boston after all!!