Friday, October 02, 2015

Boston Marathon Gets Faster for 2016....By 2 Minutes and 28 Seconds

For the 2016 Boston Marathon, you didn't just need a Boston Qualifying (BQ) time, you needed to beat it by 2 minutes and 28 seconds. In the three years that this historic race has used their time-based registration process that allows runners who qualify 20 minutes/10 minutes/5 minutes faster to register ahead of the general qualifying population, this is the biggest cutoff gap on record (vs. 68 seconds last year). For 1,985 runners (16%) this year that had BQ's and applied to the 2016 race, that meant a rejection notice.

It all started when 19,000+ runners who beat their time by 5+ minutes signed up in the first week, leaving only 5,000 slots (about 3,000 less than previous years). Since only ~24,000 of the 30,000 runners are time qualifiers, that was a tight squeeze.

The qualifier breakdown for the 2016 race is:

- 4,744 qualifiers who were 20:00 or more under their standard.
- 7,495 qualifiers who were 10:00 or more under their standard.
- 6,849 qualifiers who were 5:00 or more under their standard.
- 4,540 qualifiers who were 2:28-4:59 under their standard.
- 404 qualifiers with an active streak of at least 10 years.

So it will be a fast one in 2016, and likely will just get all future qualifying runners to go even faster!

- SD


  1. I'm just glad I turn 40 eight days before the race, as this meant I made it into that qualifying category with room to spare with my marathon time this year!

    Unlikely to see you there, Scott, but I've been following your blog for years (and just recently on Strava), and put Boston on my "must do" list as a result of your love and enthusiasm for it (not to mention a bucketload of trail runs in the US and Europe). It's going to be a horribly expensive race (I'm a UK resident, so there's the 'dirty foreigner' entry fee, plus hotel, flights, etc.), so I doubt I'll be back another year, sadly.

    Still, we run for the enjoyment of the experience, and sometimes for the PB. My target for Boston is to take in every moment of the 26.2 miles and continue my love of running. If you do want to meet a blog fan before/after the race to talk all things (trail) running, do let me know (-:

    Ben Argyle

    1. Hey, congrats Ben! Yes, you're right this isn't a cheap race (particularly from the UK) and you'll also find the first six miles aren't particularly scenic. But well worth your bucket list. I'm at scottdunlap (at) out and lets see if we can't at least grab a beer for a blog-worthy selfie. ;-)

  2. Thanks for the post Scott. I have not had a BQ time on my list since running trails, now it drops lower on my list of to-dos. I think a 100miler will come before a marathon PR of 3:07:30. (I'm 38)

    1. You know you can submit times for ultras as long as your per minute pace is below the target. You may be one of the only people I know who could submit a 100-mile time and still qualify. ;-)


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