B.A.A. Unveils New Qualifying Standards

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I welcomed yesterday’s news that the Boston Athletic Association was raising the bar relative to the qualifying standards for the Boston Marathon.  I also endorse the rolling admission system, whereby runners are granted early entry based on their qualifying times. 

Registration Process for the 2012 Boston Marathon

Date registration opens for runners with times…
September 12, 2011 20 min., 00sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
September 14, 2011 10 min., 00 sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
September 16, 2011 5 min., 00 sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
Second Week  
September 19, 2011 All Qualified Runners
September 23, 2011 Registration closes for qualified applicants
September 28, 2011 (appx) Qualifiers from entry during second week of registration are notified of their acceptance.

 If the field is not filled at the conclusion of the two weeks, then registration will remain open and qualifiers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

I find it extremely motivating to improve my qualifying time so that I improve my chances for a spot in Boston.  Here are the new qualifying requirements based on age:

2013 Qualifying Times (effective September 24, 2011)

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec
*Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard.

When I ran my first marathon in 1978 in Richmond, Virginia, the qualifying standard was 3:00 hours.  When I began the marathon that morning I had never heard of the Boston Marathon.  The first I ever heard of Boston was at Mile 26 when I passed a runner that said, “We are going to qualify for Boston!”  I ran 2:59:55 and made it by 5 seconds.  Unfortunately he missed qualifying by just one second.  I ran the Marine Corps Marathon less than a month later in 2:55:00.  I then ran the Virginia Beach Marathon a few months later (March ’79)  in 2:47:28 and finally Boston in April ’79 in 2:48:35!  It was quite a Boston Marathon debut…here are a few pictures taken in the Athlete’s Village…I’m in all black and actually have quite a bit of hair…how things have changed.

(These socks were actually cool in 1979!)

Running 4 marathons in 6 months was an example of how little I knew about marthoning when I began in 1978.  Running 24 consecutive marathons under 3 hours is something I am extremely proud of along with qualifying for Boston in 36 consecutive marathons.

So I welcome the new qualifying standards with open arms.  I’m motivated to be able to register for the 2012 Boston Marathon on the first day of registration in September.


  1. Sam says:

    These pictures are amazing Rick! I see even more of a resemblance between you and Rider through them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sam,

    These were taken just a few months before I turned 21….long before you were born. I love that everyone thinks that Rider and I look alike. I’m not so sure he feels similarly!

    I hope to see you Saturday…we’re going to run to Wellesley College and back.

    Your Coach,


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