On April 15, 2013, 5,633 runners were unable to complete the Boston Marathon as a result of the bombings that took place that afternoon on Boylston Street. Earlier this summer, it was decided by the BAA that those runners would be given the opportunity to register for the 2014 marathon, without meeting a qualifying time or committing to fundraise for a charity.
August 19th at 10:00 am, a special registration period opens for just these runners. Runners of the 2013 marathon who were identified as having a recorded time at the ½ marathon checkpoint received registration information earlier this month and will have from August 19-29th to register for the 2014 race.
In 2013, I ran the Boston Marathon for the Alzheimer’s Association. I crossed the finish line minutes before the bombs went off, but many of my teammates were unable to finish the race. Earlier this month when the notification email from the BAA went out to the 5,633 runners, our team coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association sent out a follow up email to the 12 members of our 2013 Run to End Alzheimer’s team, asking if they planned to register for the 2014 race. The email went out at 6:30pm on a Tuesday and by 9:30 Wednesday morning, 11 of the 12 had responding, all with some version of “YES, YES,YES!”
Training for a marathon is not a task taken lightly by most runners, regardless of experience. Registering for a marathon requires a level of physical fitness, time to train, a schedule allowing one to participate on April 21st and in many cases support from family and friends. Despite this, when asked if they are planning to register, the responses among folks I have spoke to have begun much like this:
“My wife is going to kill me for saying yes, but…”
“Running 20 milers in February was awful, but…”
“We were planning to be on vacation, but we could always leave Tuesday morning, so…”
“I said this would be my last one, but…”
I bet you can guess the end to those sentences.
Runners who ran and fundraised for a charity in 2013 and are receiving a deferred entry for 2014 are not required to fundraise again. Our Run to End Alzheimer’s marathon team was made up almost entirely of runners who have a connection to the disease, and those that responded that they would register for the 2014 marathon also volunteered to fundraise again. While my involvement with this group may lead me to be a bit biased about our close-knit and committed team, I am certain many other individuals offered this registration opportunity will also choose to fundraise for charities again.
The BAA has not made any final determination about the field size for the 2014 Boston Marathon and how these potential 5,633 registrants might affect the decision. As of August 18, the BAA website acknowledges that no decision has been made about the field size, including qualified and invitational entries. Registration for qualified runners is set for September, although no specific date is given on the BAA website yet.
The 2014 Boston Marathon will be a very special event for a lot of people, individually and collectively. And on Monday August 19th, the process of determining who will run the race begins.
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