Boston Marathon Forced to Turn Away Thousands of Qualifiers

September 27, 2013 by NYRR staff

Unlike last year, meeting your age and gender qualifying standards wasn’t enough to earn you a spot in the 2014 Boston Marathon, Runner’s World reports.

The registration period for all time qualifiers has officially ended, and given the surge in interest following the tragic bombings at this year’s race, the Boston Athletic Association was only able to grant bibs to those whose times were at least 1:38 faster than their qualifying standards.

That means that of the 8,426 runners who submitted applications during the registration period for all qualifiers—September 16 through September 20—only 5,450 made it in. Another 2,976 would-be competitors will have to wait until next year or gain entry in another way.

While many of the accepted runners will see their names posted on the BAA website, Beantown hopefuls who met this year’s super-speedy qualifying marks shouldn’t panic if they don’t receive word or see their names online.

“Some of those entrants who ultimately will be accepted will not be notified of their acceptance or have their name appear because validation of qualifying performances is ongoing," the BAA said, according to Runner’s World. “The amount of time to verify the performance of qualifiers can vary from race to race."

Prior to open registration for all time qualifiers, the BAA held tiered registration for the fastest of the fast, and on Monday, September 9, when folks who exceeded their standards by 20 minutes or better were invited to enter, race officials heard from more than 4,000 people—a significant jump from last year.

In all, 36,000 runners will take to the streets of Boston on April 21, 2014, and some 70 percent of those will be time qualifiers.

During last year’s registration, no cutoff was necessary, and after the period for all qualifiers had ended, some 2,500 slots were left unclaimed. It wasn’t until the first weekend of October 2012 that the last of the time-qualifying slots was grabbed up.

After this year’s cutoff was announced, many disappointed marathoners sent comments to Runner’s World Newswire. Among them was California resident Mike Bell, who’d applied with a time 1:36 under his standard.

He missed it by two second, in other words, but at least he’ll get to root for his girlfriend, who he paced to a time 2:52 below her standard.

“We were excited about the possibility of running Boston together, but now my priorities have shifted to being excited to be able to cheer her on and support her during the race," Bell said. "While it has always been a goal of mine to run on Patriots Day, I look forward to being part of the larger community supporting the runners on race day.”

Categories: Marathon News