Acceptance into the Boston Marathon is becoming harder with each passing year. This week, the Boston Athletics Association (B.A.A.) notified 23,074 runners of their acceptance into the race for 2019. However, this left 7,384 applicants with an official qualifying time without a bib for the Majors event.
“The B.A.A. has worked hard to ensure an equitable and fair process for gaining entry into the Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. chief executive officer. “Due to the unprecedented support and interest in being part of next year’s race, the B.A.A. unfortunately is unable to accept all deserving participants who achieved hard-earned qualifying times. We thank them for their running efforts and desire to run with us.”
Prior to 2013, all runners who met the qualifying times for the marathon were accepted into the race. After that year, applicants needed to be one minute, 38 seconds faster in 2014 and one minute, two seconds faster in 2015. Over the years, those times have jumped quite a bit, with this year’s 2018 race requiring athletes to run three minutes, 23 seconds faster than the qualifying time.
For next year’s race, the B.A.A’s requirements stated that runners had to be four minutes, 52 seconds faster than the qualifying time for their age group and gender in marathons between September 16, 2017 and September 19, 2018. A total of 30,458 applications were received for the 2019 race, the highest in recent years. Of those who qualified, this is the breakdown by times:
*5,256 qualifiers who were 20:00 or more under the qualifying time
*8,620 qualifiers who were 10:00 or more under the qualifying time
*8,545 qualifiers who were 5:00 or more under the qualifying time
*220 qualifiers who were 4:52 to 4:59 under the qualifying time
*433 qualifiers who have completed 10 or more consecutive Boston Marathons
*270 qualified athletes with disabilities
On Thursday, the B.A.A. announced another round of changes to qualifying times for 2020, stating that runners will have to meet a qualifying time of five minutes faster to be accepted. This decision was made by taking into account the annual number of applicants in each division and gender, and the faster times submitted by applicants.
“We forecast the interest in running Boston as continuing. We know that the running community pays close attention to our qualifying times for their age group because they are important factors in their training, racing and race selection,” said Grilk. “As such, for the 2020 Boston Marathon, adjustments to all age group qualifying standards will be five minutes (5:00) faster than previous standards.”
The qualifying window for the 2020 Boston Marathon began last Saturday, September 15 and will continue through the conclusion of 2020 Boston Marathon registration next fall.