My Life is Now 5:59 More Difficult

Thanks to Sox-Yankees and Celts-Lakers, it’s not the BIGGEST ticket in town, but it’s not the easiest one to get either.  It takes months of hard work, meeting tough standards, and being ready to buy the minute registration opens up.  If you can’t do that, it comes down to raising thousands of dollars for charity.  Either way, that’s a lot of work.  No, they haven’t upped the prices on Revolution tickets.  It’s the Holy Grail of running… the Boston Marathon.

I (charitably) call myself a runner.  I’ve got one or two marathons under my belt.  April 18, 2020 is marathon #3.  Despite my best efforts, I’m a long way from qualifying for Boston.

Bad news bears — that long way just got a lot longer: Five minutes, 59 seconds longer.

Responding to problems with qualified runners being shut out for 2011 registration, the Boston Athletic Association had to make some changes.  Boston’s third-most popular ticket is now harder to get, with 5:59 faster qualifying times and registration that gives the fastest runners the first shot at signing up.

As a just-barely sub-4:00 marathoner, I’m going to be getting $3,250 for the American Liver Foundation in order to toe the line in Hopkinton.  With the new standards, I assume that if I run Boston again, I’ll be fundraising again.

What does my likely lifetime of fundraising for race bibs have to do with you?  Well, it’s Boston’s most-attended sporting event.  (There’s no stats on that, I’m just assuming that it must be.  What with the no-walls-or-tickets thing.)

Having spent most of 2011 on the injured list, I’m now in the not-so-enviable position of being unable to get out there on the roads for runs.  If you’ve ever been an injured runner, you notice every single healthy runner out there.  The ones you might not have paid attention to during your own morning miles suddenly look like elite athletes.  Meanwhile, you’re holding a cup of Starbucks and a cookie thinking, “Man, I am REALLY out of shape.”

My point is, I’ve noticed that there are tons of you out there running in 3 feet of snow.  This means either you’re a masochist or a marathoner.  We’re in Boston.  You’re in training.

Are you capable of running a 3:05 or a 3:35?  If you’re ONEin3, you’re in the fastest qualifying times, so that’s your new goal for 2013.  Understandable, as they had to respond to this year’s complaints.

But then I think of a podcast I listened to the other day — Dave McGillivray told a really touching story of a woman who was incapable of running 26.2 miles but wanted to run the Boston Marathon.  McGillivray arranged a 26.2 foot race for her to complete, and she finished her own Boston Marathon.  Isn’t there something amazing about being able to run our own Boston Marathon?  Whether it’s a physical disability or just a lack of endurance that holds us back from running a 3:05/3:35, don’t we all want to have our own Boston Marathon?  The new times may mean a faster field, but do they mean a better Boston Marathon?

Do you think the BAA solved the problem with the new, faster times?  How about the staggered start to registering?  It’s a world-class event… but does that mean potentially shutting out hometown harriers?  Share your thoughts below.



  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ONEin3 Boston, Meg. Meg said: Here's one idea: a new marathon. What do you think? [...]

  2. [...] hugely popular Boston Marathon is making it six minutes harder to qualify next [...]

  3. katie says:

    Boston Marathon is an elite, top-8 marathon and it needs to be treated as such. I’ve run two other marathons, both in Europe, and it’s true: there are other marathons out there. Boston is an elite marathon, and so to get in, you need to run elite times. if you can’t do it, there are prettier and less stringent marathons out there. end of story.

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