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5 Fast Last-Minute Boston Marathon Qualifiers

Want to race Boston next April? There's still time to qualify!

Want to race Boston next April? There’s still time to qualify!

Runners take note: registration for the 2015 edition of the Boston Marathon begins on Monday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. EST. More popular than ever, bibs for this storied race—the oldest annual modern marathon in the world at 119 years running—are expected to sell out fast. According to the Boston Athletic Association, the race’s governing body, qualifying standards remain the same as last year and runners still have a shot to gain entry through a “rolling admission” process. Beginning on Monday, marathoners who have met their age group’s qualifying standard by 20 minutes or more can register first. On Wednesday, September 10, registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standard by 10 minutes or more, should space remain. Finally, if space still remains, registration will open on Friday, September 12 or those who have met their qualifying standard by five minutes or more. Registration will close on Saturday, September 13 at 10 p.m. EST. If there are still spots available following the first full week of registration, organizers will open it up to all remaining qualified runners on Monday, September 15. The qualification window, which opened on September 14, 2013, will remain open until the conclusion of registration, according to the B.A.A.

This means if you don’t have a qualifying time there’s still hope for you to bag one this weekend—and even next weekend if the race doesn’t fill up right away. Check out these five last-minute marathon options to choose from if you want to book a trip to Boston next April.

Skagit Flats Marathon

Where: Burlington, Washington

When: Sunday, September 7

Cost: $103

The flattest Boston qualifier in all of Washington State also happens to be the last chance for runners there to gain entry to Boston. There is no race-day registration for the 37th edition of this race, so hurry to sign up online since the event is capped at 1,000 runners. The proceeds from this low-key race go to two good causes:  Skagit Search and Rescue as well as local high school sports programs.

Ventura Marathon

Where: Ventura, California

When: Sunday, September 7

Cost: $130 before September 3, $140 after

This one starts and finishes at the Ventura Pier and according to Marathon was in the top-20 of Boston qualifiers in 2013 with over a 20 percent success rate. The highest point on the entire course is less than 100 feet in elevation. Live bands and a huge beer garden await finishers at a finish line that organizers boast is sure to be “epic.”

Holland Haven Marathon

Where: Holland, Michigan

When: Saturday, September 6

Cost: $125 on the day of the race

The weather is typically ideal for this point-to-point race that takes runners along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan and past real windmills that will make you feel like you are in the original Holland. This race’s mostly flat course only has a few 100-foot climbs and comes with its fair share of downhill sections.

Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Marathon

Where: Washington, D.C.

When: Saturday, September 13

Cost: $100 (no race-day registration is allowed)

All 26.2 miles of this one are on the gravel C&O towpath that runs along the mighty Potomac River, which makes it especially kind to the feet and legs when the pounding starts to take effect in those challenging miles near the end. One downside about the marathon is the course itself—runners will have to complete the same 13.1-mile out-and-back course twice. If you’re going to give this one a shot, be sure to arrange for a ride since there is limited on-site parking.

Big Cottonwood Marathon

Where: Salt Lake City, Utah

When: Saturday, September 13

Cost: $114.95

Organizers tout this annual race as fast and beautiful. The completely downhill course, which winds through beautiful Rocky Mountain Canyon during sunrise, starts at 9,000 feet above sea level and ends below 5,000 feet. Besides possibly qualifying for Boston, you can also get free race photos included with the purchase of your bib and the huge, ornate finisher medals are something to brag about.