Boston: I Owe You A Qualifying Time

In 6 weeks, I will be running in the 116th Boston Marathon. This will be the 3rd time I will make my way to this, the `Holy Grail` of recreational, and even elite marathoners. This time will though, and for a reason that I do not talk about much. I owe this prestigious event a proper qualifying time.

What possibly could I be talking about?

Well, you surely know that it is not the easiest event to get into.

For me, there’s more to it than that…

To run the necessary time to gain entry to marathons most prominent event, it takes hard work, consistent training and overall dedication to the sport. For some, yes, it seems to come easier, and for others, very hard. For me, it was hard, and I managed to reach the level required to earn my way. Twice. That’s right, twice, not 3 times. Because, as you also may know, if you qualify within a certain time frame, you are eligible for the coming year’s race and the following year as well. This is how my qualifying played out. In May of 2009, I completed the Mississauga Marathon and ran 3:19:10 . This qualified me for the 2010 Boston Marathon. In October 2010, I ran the Toronto Goodlife Marathon and completed that in 3:18:20 and qualified for the race held in 2011. Qualifying after September 30th, made me eligible for 2011 AND 2012. As it turns out, I did not again run the sub 3:20:00 required by men my age.

I did run 6 marathons last year, with some good results: Phoenix AZ – 3:28, Boston MA – 3:23, Toronto ON – 3:39 (pace bunny), Ottawa ON – 3:59 (pace bunny), Toronto Waterfront – 3:32 and Hamilton ON – 3:37. But, none of these times equaled a ‘current’ eligible time. I had to rely on my older, albeit legitimate effort.

So yes, I was officially allowed to use my Oct 2010 time to register, and although I at one time considered not doing so, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. So I am in, and planning on a bit of redemption. To follow-up the thoughts expressed in my last post, where I spoke of how one should not say what they’re ‘going to do’ but only say what they ‘have done’ – in this instance, I need to shout it out. I am going to run the sub 3:20 marathon that I feel I owe Boston.

Under the new standards, my new official qualifying time for 2013 is 3:25:00, but I am not thinking about that. I will stick to my plan and aim for a Personal Best of sub 3h 18m. I will feel better about this whole thing once I have done so. I know I can do it. So far, I have trained at a higher level, one I have not before reached and I am looking forward crossing the blue and gold painted finish line in Boston.


Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

  • C-do

    Don’t you need to run 3:15 now. You are still 44 right?

  • Dave E

    I will be 45 when the 2013 Boston Marathon runs. Qualifying times are based on how old you WILL be on race day. So my next qualifying standard I need to run is 3:25 (but faster than that would be better based on the fact faster times get to register first)

    Regardless, my goal of < 3:18 will be met, giving me plenty of room for 2013 entry!