Monday’s race is one of the nation’s most exclusive.
You can’t just sign up for the Boston Marathon — the runners slogging their way through 38 degree temperature, whipping wings, and driving rains are some of the best the world has to offer.
30,000 runners gained entry to the 2018 race, about 80% of which will have qualified behind strong performances in previous marathons. Those cutoff times are staggered by age, giving older competitors a bit more leeway — but they’re still pretty tough.
Qualifiers can notch these times running in any certified U.S. Track & Field marathon. Additionally, runners with handicaps have to hit the following standards:
All visually impaired athletes: 5:00:00
Athletes with a permanent physical or intellectual/adaptive disability: 6:00:00
Athletes who run with lower leg prosthetics: 8:00:00
Just running a 3:04.00 marathon may not be enough to qualify you for the marquee event. Potential runners have their applications staggered based on how far under the qualifying standard they’ve run. When the Boston Athletic Association opened up this year’s field in September, it started on a Monday with runners who had beaten the qualifying standard by 20 minutes or more. Two days later, runners 10 minutes under could apply. Two days after that, qualifiers five minutes under the standard were invited to apply.
Then, the next Monday, the rest of the field was allowed to submit their entries if space permitted. In 2017, the mark was 2:28 under standards. That ‘17 race saw more than 4,500 qualified athletes stay home despite Boston Marathon-level times. This year, anyone running less than 2:09 under their age/gender standard was denied a spot in the race.
That covers nearly 24,000 runners — so how about the other 20 percent of the marathon’s entrants? They earn invitations to come to Massachusetts and give Heartbreak …read more