Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Cha Cha Chaaanges...

Curious on your thoughts!!!  I'll tell you mine, next post. :)

BAA announces new procedures for marathon registration, qualifying



The Boston Athletic Association announced new qualifying times and new registration procedures for the Boston Marathon this morning. Both go into effect for the 2012 and 2013 marathons. In 2012, the BAA will institute rolling admission for qualifiers with the fastest runners being allowed to enter first. The field will be filled with the fastest of all qualifiers.

Then, in 2013, the BAA will make it more difficult to qualify by lowering time standards by five minutes across all age groups and both genders. The rolling admission process also will remain in place for 2013 and future marathons, continuing to allow the fastest runners to enter first.

The new qualifying times and registration procedures come in response to the 2011 Boston Marathon selling out in a record 8 hours and 3 minutes in October. With the race filling so quickly, thousands of qualifiers were unable to register. After the record sellout, the BAA began reviewing its registration process and researching options to make race entry more fair in the future, not just a sprint to the online registration page. The BAA
believes its new formula is the fairest option that best serves the running community and stays true to the marathon’s history as a race for qualifiers.

BAA leaders said they considered two fundamental values in revising the
registration process and qualifying standards: preserving the race's elite
status and maintaining fairness in the entry process.

"We feel very, very confident that we have satisfied the objectives we
set for ourselves after Oct. 18," race director Dave McGillivray said.
"We feel this registration process will be met with great favor,
especially by all the runners who have told us the main thing is to
maintain the credibility, integrity, and competitive excellence" of the
race.

The BAA does not expect to significantly increase the field size.


"Unfortunately, the same amount of people may not be able to get into the
race in 2012," McGillivray said. "We just don't have the space. The whole
reason for tightening the standards is to minimize the disappointment in
2013 and beyond."

2012 rolling registration dates:

- Day 1 (Sept. 12) - Qualifiers who have met their age and gender qualifying standard (3 hours, 10 minutes for men aged 18-34 and 3 hours, 40 minutes for women 18-34) by a margin of 20 minutes or faster may apply for the marathon.

- Day 3 (Sept. 14) - Qualifiers who have met the standard set for their age/gender by a margin of 10 minutes or faster may apply.

- Day 5 (Sept. 16) - Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying time by a margin of 5 minutes or faster may apply.

- Day 8 (Sept. 19) - Open to all qualifiers to register.

- Day 12 (Sept. 23) - Registration closes for qualified applicants. Registered qualifiers will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 28.

For 2013, there are new qualifying times
Age GroupMenWomen
18-343:05:003:35:00
35-393:10:003:40:00
40-443:15:003:45:00
45-493:25:003:55:00
50-543:30:004:00:00
55-593:40:004:10:00
60-643:55:004:25:00
65-694:10:004:40:00
70-744:25:004:55:00
75-794:40:005:10:00
80+4:55:005:25:00

44 comments:

Christi said...

I saw this earlier today on twitter. My thought is "Now I will never get in the race!"

Emz said...

FREAKING A - now I have to run a 3:05 to BQ like a man?!

my 2cents. Man qual times should have stayed the same - womens should have dropped by 10 MINUTES!

Running and living said...

All seems fair to me. Maybe the guys got the short end of the stick, but they deserve that bc they never have to get pregnant and have kids. There.
More seriously, I think BAA was v smart. They are stopping the registration in September, which means that qualifying times are good only for 1.5 years, as opposed to 2. That will cut out lots of folks, particularly those planning to BQ at a major fall marathon, like Chicago. Also, by rolling registration, it is ensured that faster runners get a priority. This seems fair, since Boston is a race of physical fitness, rather than internet speed. Folks are upset about this, but what if Kara had to register and did not make it in bc Joe Blow qualified with a 3:40? I bet that everyone within 5 min of the BQ is going to be able to make it in - not all faster people want to keep running BOston (I have no interest in running Boston again, even though I would be first wave registering), a huge percentage of BQrs are within 1-2 min of the current qualifying time; 5 min better is going to cut out a lot of people. So yes, BAA did good. V fair! I think people should take this as a motivator to train harder and run faster, if possible; there is also the charity option, which is a nice way to help others.

Kate said...

It sounds fair to me, but that's speaking as someone unlikely to ever approach any BQ-level time. I'll be interested to read all the opinions.

Rose said...

Honestly, I have no thoughts, because I will never BQ, unless I break my legs and they heel better, like that kid's baseball movie from the 90s.

marathonmaiden said...

hmmmmmm i actually like the new times. but i don't really like the rolling part. i mean, a bq is a bq after all.

Aimee said...

I am not surprised by the time changes, but I don't think I like the "rolling admission." To me, if you qualify, you qualify. It shouldn't matter if you beat your qualifying time by 10 min. or 1min., you still qualified. Therefore, you should have the same rights to register as anyone else.

Amanda@runninghood said...

I like what Ana Maria said. I don't have time to make a very thoughtful comment since I"m just checking in really quick and this caught my eye...but I'll be back to share my thinking later when I have a break...now back to my kids. Thanks for posting Jill!

Karen said...

Maybe they should just eliminate the charity running category? Since this race is like the Marathon Championship, why do slower people get to run it? It's like letting charity runners compete in the Olympics. BTW, I run a 4:00 marathon and probably won't qualify until I'm at least 40.

Marlene said...

As someone who was just starting to think she MIGHT have a shot (but barely), it's heartbreaking. Seems so much less attainable now, but I realize that something had to be done.

What I don't understand is how moving the registration up a month(ish) makes qualification times good for 1.5 years and not 2 (as per running & living's comment). Maybe I'm missing something obvious??

Michelle said...

I'm with Marlene. I've been working my tail off to get a qualifying time and now getting in seems to be a distant hope. I know they had to do something, but I felt pretty let down intitially.
That being said, I'm sticking with my 3:45 goal.

Julie said...

I think if I wait until I bump up an age group, I might be able to handle it. I always said my next marathon would be a BQ - hm....
I totally hadn't been thinking of marathons lately...but now...maybe I should finally try to RACE a marathon and see what I come up with.

Jennifer said...

Unless I strap rockets to my feet I'll never get in anyway. However, I feel bad for all the folks who were just on the cusp, seems like a real let-down.

Anonymous said...

I think they should eliminate the charity component (maybe raise the entry fee and divide that amoung charities), it really bugs me when people claim they ran Boston and eliminate the small detail that they didn't qualify, or they got a free entry for some reason.

racing dawn said...

i saw this this morning too... not sure that i love the rolling times thing... not only do i have to bq but i probably need to take 10 minutes off that bq time just to hope to be lucky enough to register in the first couple days... i think it will sell out by the time it comes for the people that qualified within a couple minutes or even seconds... definitely interesting to see how it all goes down.

funderson said...

Gee whiz, that's a lot of math and stuff.... Amazing that it makes me care even less about Boston. Who knew that was possible???

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

You know what I think.. crap! Just tell me I have to run a 3:25 and he honest. Sheesh! BTW I'd love to see you at Colfax!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

I understand why people are frustrated, but I think that this makes sense. Boston is one of the few marathons out there with qualifying standards. If more and more people are qualifying that the organizers want to retain its reputation as an elite event, it seems reasonable that they privilege elite runners... But that's just my humble opinion.

Jenn said...

Yeah-this one has definitely sparked some debate hey! Great comment AM. I have to process a bit...I definitely think changes needed to be made. The changes won't really affect me or if anything make it easier for me. On that count, it's hard for me to really process or understand how difficult it is for some who are right on the edge. My husband had a 1 minute cushion and now is in risk of not getting in for 2012 as we had planned. Hmmm-his response "I guess I'll have to get my butt in gear and get me that 5 minute cushion" I do RESPECT the BAA and don't think they drew out of a hat on this one. Interested to keep reading these comments.

elaine said...

I think it's genius. Everyone thought the women's standards would tighten proportionate to the men...but maybe a determining factor is that there are still less women, (%) running Boston than other marathons. I think in Boston the percentage of women is still in the 40s? So it's hard to argue for any standard that would result in less women runners.

Terri said...

As I posted on Beth's page, this means as much to me as if they said you had to qualify for a moon landing - I have about as much hope of qualifying for that as I do for Boston. That said, I'd love to run a New England marathon someday, even though Boston is an impossibility.

Suzy said...

It sounds like some are happy and some aren't about the changes. It doesn't affect me because I figure the only way I'm running Boston is through a charity (should I ever want to do a marathon and raise money to run said marathon). It is interesting to read everyone's reactions.

termite said...

last month i ran a 3:16 - and they're saying i need to run by a 3:34. i'm happy. :) i've been running the Boston for years now, and well, i think the times are fair. see? there is an advantage to getting old. ;-)

and i looooooovvvvveeee to bar-b-q! i'm grilling tonight!! wOOt!

Caroline said...

Clearly for me as a runner it is a non issue. I would never qualify for this race. Does not mean I don't have an opinion though..this will become the marathon for "la creme de la creme" like we say in French. It is sad that this iconic race will become less accessible for the dreamers though and that even for those who will still qualify it will be harder to register if they are right on the target...that would dissapoint me big time If I was ever able to BQ. Not sure it is all fair. If you qualify, you qualify and then it is fair games.

Chris K said...

I think it's fair and necessary. Both the rolling enrollment and new times. I'm kinda glad as it gives me motivation to improve my times.

DRog said...

they had to do something !!

Jason said...

It just got harder for me but this needed to be done to keep it an elite race. Everything they did is fair and in the end necessary.

By the way I don't keep a real log of my protein unless I feel deficient and then I go to Livestrong.com and put my ingredients in. I know that my diet nets me about 15%-16% protein daily and so I am not overly concerned about it. If I try a new recipe I will log it to see how it stacks up.

Ron, running the wrong way. said...

My first and thus far only marathon was interesting (detailed in my blog), but still somewhat telling. 3:25 should be within my reach.

Races are getting more and more crowded and/or filling much quicker, the good ones anyway. More and more are going to lottery arrangements but that would be counter to BAA's quest to keep this event at the top of the class, among the fast.

It's a tough place for race organizers to be in.

Meg said...

I like these changes, they seem specific and fair.

I'll email you tomorrow, I have been SO busy but I'm thinking about you!!
hugs

XLMIC said...

Fair. It is supposed to be a tough race to get into. I like Jenn's huband's response... "guess I'll have to get my butt in gear ..."

And yes, it is heart-breaking for some (many).

bubble boy said...

Thank God I ran it in 1996 and 2000 and have crossed it off my bucket list. I hope the new standards work so people who qualify won't be denied.

Molly said...

well, I don't think I'll ever BQ, but this looks very cut and dry, which will make it fair for everyone.

Teamarcia said...

Can't believe I'm saying this but I'm with Chris K on this one. It's fair and necessary.

lindsay said...

I am down with it. Heck they could make qualifiers harder and eliminate the tiered registration. I don't mind having a new goal to shoot for.

Andrew Opala said...

That 80+ slot looks pretty good ... I just hope I live that long!

Paul said...

I'm with Andrew..no way I'll every run a 3:40 in the next 5 years. Or I might try and explode.

Oh well, plenty of other fun goals!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

The new times I get, the roll over regristration I dont

Small Town Runner said...

I agree with EMZ and a few other posters...

Thanks Jill, for a straight forward explanation. I am glad I am doing it this year, as I don't expect to do the crazy trip again for 10 more years...But i'd like to be in the 225th.

What about charites and clubs????

Small Town Runner said...

Oh...i don't expect to live to the 225th, So i'll settle for the 125th ;) haha

HappyTrails said...

They had to do something - get ready for a lottery if this plan doesn't work. Then it will be like all the big ultras - at the mercy of the draw! Have a great weekend Jill!!

Irene said...

I'm kind of glad they didn't go with a lottery system, but we'll have to wait and see if the rolling admissions will work. The fact is MORE people are running, which is why there's more people qualifying. I honestly don't think changing the times will make much difference, unless you're one of those who wanted to qualify under the previous times.

Katie said...

I'm impartial. Now if there was a 5k I was trying to qualify for and they lowered the q time I MIGHT be upset :D

Karen said...

It is a race that is supposed to be the "best of the best". If they need to tighten it up to make it more managable, then so be it... easy for me to say as I am not someone who would probably every qualify. I am sure it probably would be a little disheartening if you were right on the cusp of qualifying.

Gillie said...

Women runners have improved so much over the years, and I don't believe that they should get that half hour more than the men. That seems like way too much time. Maybe 15 minutes? Also, if they limit the number of people running for a "charity", that would give more room to the real runner. Isn't that what the BM is all about? It irks me when I hear someone I know say that they ran Boston, and I know that there's no way they qualified. They did it for a charity. I have nothing against the charity's, I just think that they should be limited.