The Boston Athletic Association announced new qualifying times and new registration procedures for the Boston Marathon this morning. Both go into effect for the 2012 and 2013 marathons. In 2012, the BAA will institute rolling admission for qualifiers with the fastest runners being allowed to enter first. The field will be filled with the fastest of all qualifiers.Then, in 2013, the BAA will make it more difficult to qualify by lowering time standards by five minutes across all age groups and both genders. The rolling admission process also will remain in place for 2013 and future marathons, continuing to allow the fastest runners to enter first.
The new qualifying times and registration procedures come in response to the 2011 Boston Marathon selling out in a record 8 hours and 3 minutes in October. With the race filling so quickly, thousands of qualifiers were unable to register. After the record sellout, the BAA began reviewing its registration process and researching options to make race entry more fair in the future, not just a sprint to the online registration page. The BAA
believes its new formula is the fairest option that best serves the running community and stays true to the marathonís history as a race for qualifiers.
BAA leaders said they considered two fundamental values in revising the registration process and qualifying standards: preserving the race's elite status and maintaining fairness in the entry process
"We feel very, very confident that we have satisfied the objectives we set for ourselves after Oct. 18," race director Dave McGillivray said. "We feel this registration process will be met with great favor, especially by all the runners who have told us the main thing is to maintain the credibility, integrity, and competitive excellence" of the race.
The BAA does not expect to significantly increase the field size.
"Unfortunately, the same amount of people may not be able to get into the race in 2012," McGillivray said. "We just don't have the space. The whole reason for tightening the standards is to minimize the disappointment in 2013 and beyond."
2012 rolling registration dates
- Day 1 (Sept. 12) - Qualifiers who have met their age and gender qualifying standard (3 hours, 10 minutes for men aged 18-34 and 3 hours, 40 minutes for women 18-34) by a margin of 20 minutes or faster may apply for the marathon.
- Day 3 (Sept. 14) - Qualifiers who have met the standard set for their age/gender by a margin of 10 minutes or faster may apply.
- Day 5 (Sept. 16) - Qualifiers who have met their age/gender qualifying time by a margin of 5 minutes or faster may apply.
- Day 8 (Sept. 19) - Open to all qualifiers to register.
- Day 12 (Sept. 23) - Registration closes for qualified applicants. Registered qualifiers will be notified of their acceptance by Sept. 28.
For 2013, there are new qualifying times
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 15-time Boston qualifier who's completed 11 consecutive Boston Marathons and 23 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 12th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes