Thursday, February 17, 2011

BQ changes–were they enough?

The Boston athletic Association announced changes to the qualify standards and have introduced a tier registration schedule.  Becky told me that I should make sure that I registered this year because I might not ever get the chance again.  I might not ever run another BQ time.  Well, the standards have defiantly gotten tougher.  Starting in 2013 all times have been reduced by 5 minutes.  The changes are actually effectively 6 minutes because if you look at the chart below you will see the fine print (notice the asterisk – “*Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard”. However, many people do not believe that this is enough and that the reduction should not have been across the board – some age groups should have had been reduced by more than 5 minutes.. 


*Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will

NOT be accepted for each age group time standard


However, I think the tier registration is a bigger deal.  Starting this year you will get preferential treatment by how much you beat your qualifying time.  For example, to be one of the first registered entrant (and a ‘guaranteed entry’) you need to exceed your qualifying time by 20 minutes.  For me, this year it would be a 2:55 (3:15 – 20 minutes).  Next year it would be 2:50 (3:10 – 20).  I am glad that I registered this year.  The sub-3 attempt shows me that these marathons are NOT money in the bank- Race Report (I’m still working on my Lessons Learned – stay tuned).  You still have to go out and execute.  For the official BAA announcement, click here.For a detailed analysis of the changes check out DC Rainmakers blog – here.


Tiered registration dates


Do you think the changes will effect the make up of the Boston Marathon?  Is Boston still a goal for you?


misszippy said...

It had to happen....the women's standards were too easy. Even with the change, my current time gives me the 20-plus minutes under, so I'd say they are fair (and I'm not all that fast). for the men, I think maybe they could have let the standards stand.

Matty O said...

Personally, I am very happy they did this. I think there are A LOT more runners out there now than there were before. Say maybe 5% of the runners could run a BQ... well, assuming that average still stands, 5% of a larger pool means too many people trying to get in.

Personally, if it were easy for me to qualify for Boston (within flirting distance) the standards were too lax.

I think it should be an ELITE race as it is advertised as. I also think that they should not let pee wee kids play in the super bowl... haha.

I commend them for doing this.

Is it still a goal. I don't think I ever care to run a 3:05. I think a 3:10 was possible for me, that extra 5 minutes is a world of hurt I don't know that I would ever be prepared to put my body through. I'll wait until I am older.

Tri-James said...

You are damn right - that 5 minutes is a world of hurt!

Becky Ryder said...

I read somewhere that about 20% of the Boston field is made up of non-qualifiers. These are not necessarily "charity runners" but consit of the following:

1. John Hancock employees or "friends"
2. Tour companies that pay an added fee to BAA
3. Running clubs that provide assistance to BAA such as working an aid stations. If there are 15-20 club members working an aid station, the club gets 5-6 entries.

I think the standards had to be motified because it is no longer the elite race that it has been historically. When I ran it, the qualifying times were much stricter and the field was much smaller.

Jon said...

Lets see how fast or messed up the signups are during the next round. I'm sure that will reveal if this is good or not.

Regardless, I think this is for the best. A race that sells out that quick was just screaming "too easy.".......not that I think a sub 3:10 or faster is easy ;)

chris said...

I agree with Becky. I personally know of people that have run this race simply because they "knew" somebody. I think it is sad that they will let people that have not BQ'd run the most sought after race in the world.

I guess it's just time to train harder!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I get the faster times, I dont get the reason for the roll over regristration

Lindsay said...

i'm ok with faster standards but the tiered registration is lame to me. just lower the standards to keep people out, don't leave them guessing from the moment they cross the finish line if they ran a good enough time and will there be any slots left.

i do think women's should come down more than men's. i am up for the challenge!