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Boston Qualifying Question

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Boston Qualifying Question

Post  charles on Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:36 am

Does anyone think that Boston will fill up with:

1. Those running 20 minutes faster than their qualifying time?

2. Those running 10 minutes faster than their qualifying time?

Those of you (me) on the cusp of qualifying are you revising your goals? As a 40 year old I will have to run 3:14:59 next year. Or should I aim* for 3:04? 2:54?


*I think "aim" is a poor choice of words. I have "aimed" for a BQ for years and always ran harder workouts than I was physically in shape to handle. This of course resulted in injury. As soon as I started running within my own abilities, the time started failing off in large chunks. So I tend to think in terms of "continuing to improve." BUT . . . that time goal still tickles the back of my noggin!
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Seth Harrison on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:29 am

From what I've read and from where the conventional wisdom seems to fall, it doesn't seem like it will fill up with the 20 minute faster times. I'm wondering if, since the new qualifying times are not in effect yet, it will fill up with the 10 minute faster times. I'm sure someone here has looked at the qualifying times breakdown from last year to see what percentage of runners qualified with times 10 minutes faster than their qualifying times. If memory serves, that wasn't the case. I think the majority of qualifiers were much closer to their actual BQ times (thus, the BAA decision to make the times 5 minutes faster starting in 2013).
Since I'm not going to try to BQ for 2012 (I'm running Philly in November, which is way past the registration period for next year), I'll have the advantage of seeing how registration goes this time around. For now, I'm shooting for 5 minutes faster than my BQ time of 3:30, since for 2013, the new faster qualifying times will be in effect.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Kenny B. on Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:52 am

I am shooting for 8-9 minutes slower then BQ! Wonder if they will let me in on my good looks! scratch
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Mike MacLellan on Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:01 am

When the changes first took place, I think most of the speculation - keyword: speculation - was that all BQ-20 and BQ-10 would get in, very likely that all BQ-5 would get in, and the cutoff would be between that and BQ.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:27 am

I don't think that we will really know until it is implemented for a couple years...and even then it may vary from year to year.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  mul21 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:28 am

I think the widely believed theory of the BAA is that the cutoff this year will be somewhere in the 3-5 minute under BQ time range. So for me, with a BQ of 3:15:59, I think I would have had to be 3:13:00 or better to have a shot.

I think next year, with the tightened standards, that it will be much closer to the actual BQ time to get in the race. So, I'm thinking that if I run 3:08 or so (with a BQ time of 3:10:00) I'll probably be okay.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Jeff F on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:39 pm

There was considerable debate about this when the new standards were released. I think the general consensus was it probably won't fill until registration is opened up for those with the BQ time, but everyone who is allowed to register earlier will most likely get in.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  charles.moman on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:41 pm

I'm thinking that since I am late to the party of running, I will never be able to qualify for Boston.
Therefore, my stress is eliminated about Boston! Smile
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Kenny B. on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:00 pm

@charles.moman wrote:I'm thinking that since I am late to the party of running, I will never be able to qualify for Boston.
Therefore, my stress is eliminated about Boston! Smile

Free at last Free at last!
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  charles on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:18 pm

@charles.moman wrote:I'm thinking that since I am late to the party of running, I will never be able to qualify for Boston.
Therefore, my stress is eliminated about Boston! Smile

When I stopped worry about Boston I started running faster!

I kinda agree with all the sentiment above. I think 3 to 5 minutes faster will get you in.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  jon c on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:19 pm

It seems to me the answer is simple. For a lot of you, simply maintain your present level of fitness for 5, 10, 20 even 30 years till you're in my age group (next year 55-60), run under 3:20 (3:40 BQ) and you're golden. Suspect



It sounds good anyway. haha
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  John Kilpatrick on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:43 pm

@charles.moman wrote:I'm thinking that since I am late to the party of running, I will never be able to qualify for Boston.
Therefore, my stress is eliminated about Boston! Smile

I wouldn't say that at all, Charles. You have only begun to see what you are capable of doing!

Here is a response that Hal gave me when I asked him about the new qualifying standards some time ago:
Hal Higdon wrote:



If you go out too fast and bonk,
that also would be a bummer. You need to
pick a pace that is best for you and not set the bar too high so that failure becomes inevitable. Having said that, I can tell you what the
odds are of getting in with a 3:20:59 for the 2012 race if that is your goal.
Although that is the bottom-line standard for qaualifying, under the new
system, that

probably will not get you in.



I just finished writing an article for the
Boston Marathon program about the new standards, so I am very familiar with
them and also the demand to get in Boston. In the article, I offered my best
guess as to what time will qualify, although I suspect the BAA may want to
delete that paragraph

because guessing understandably makes them
uncomfortable. But here is what I wrote, modified slightly for your time.




Will a runner who has qualified for Boston with a 3:20:59 equivalent make the
field? Probably not, although McGillivray ducks the question as to how fast the
“slowest:” accepted runner must run. Based on times of previous Boston runners,
he has insufficient data even to make an
educated guess. I have no qualms offering such a guess. If your time is a 3:19
equivalent, I suspect you will not get in; if 3:18, you might. Several runners I know are planning
early-September marathons hoping to improve their current qualifying times and
increasing their odds of acceptance. As the father of a runner who qualified
for the 1984 Olympic Trials with a time barely 13 seconds faster than the
standard, I easily can identify with those within a few seconds away from the
cut-off point either way.

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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:18 pm

You can become a girl.

Actually, I think it will be closer the the actual BQ time than 20 min under. I do know; however, that the BAA has already allowed entrance to those runners who have run the last 10 Bostons (consecutive), so how many filled those spots. A friend of mine was able to register who did not have a BQ for 2012.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Bob on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:37 pm

As long as BQ - 6:12 gets in, nothing else matters.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Jerry on Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:19 pm

But Charles, you are not having a race this weekend and talking about next year's training goal, right?

In that case, I think you already answered your own question. I don't think we can aim for anything. We can't guarantee we can improve our fitness, let alone how much. In your case, I think you need to avoid injury first. Once you are injured, all bets are off.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Chris M on Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:19 pm

I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:



Don't bother trying to figure it out.



My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.



So what do you do if the BQ you've now run doesn't let you register for the race in the normal way because of how they fill the field? You enter through the charity route. Again, this is just my view but I would not run Boston getting in only via a charity entry. If I could not get a BQ, I personally would not run the race. But if you GOT a BQ and you want to be there, go! Your time will still qualify you for the correct corral that lines up with your BQ.



Particularly if you are a first time BQ and Boston runner, I recommend going the charity entry route if you have a BQ in hand but did not get in through the new race entry process. No reasonable person would deny you have qualified to be there racing that day. Yes, the charity route will cost you (and your family/friend donors) some more $$, so skimp on the hotel, skip buying a jacket, cut some other expenses to make the dream of running your first Boston a reality.



If the BQ time you need is right at the edge of what you can do in a race, don't be crazy and try and go 5+ minutes under that time. That kind of boom or bust racing will disappoint you more often than it rewards you. Instead, target the BQ you need and know that you will be in Hopkinton the following year one way or the other if you hit the goal.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  ssilvert on Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:45 pm

@Chris M wrote:I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:

Don't bother trying to figure it out.

My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.
I couldn't agree more, Chris. Running Boston was an incredible experience, but the real feeling of accomplishment came almost 18 months earlier when I crossed the finish line in Chicago and I had my BQ with only 37 seconds to spare.

Stan
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Matt W on Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:46 pm


Just as an FYI, I registered late Monday night and was given an entry ID that ended in 4196. I haven't really checked in with the baa website to see if there is any news about how quickly it's filling up today. I usually depend on you guys for that kind of news. Smile
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Nick Morris on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:09 pm

@ssilvert wrote:
@Chris M wrote:I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:

Don't bother trying to figure it out.

My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.
I couldn't agree more, Chris. Running Boston was an incredible experience, but the real feeling of accomplishment came almost 18 months earlier when I crossed the finish line in Chicago and I had my BQ with only 37 seconds to spare.

Stan

But still...isn't the point of getting the BQ, so that you can actually run the race?? I would much rather say that I ran Boston, than just qualified for it.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:20 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:
@ssilvert wrote:
@Chris M wrote:I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:

Don't bother trying to figure it out.

My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.
I couldn't agree more, Chris. Running Boston was an incredible experience, but the real feeling of accomplishment came almost 18 months earlier when I crossed the finish line in Chicago and I had my BQ with only 37 seconds to spare.

Stan

But still...isn't the point of getting the BQ, so that you can actually run the race?? I would much rather say that I ran Boston, than just qualified for it.



Many people, me included, determine after the fact that qualifying was far more gratifying than the actual experience of running the race. Running Boston is cool, but qualifying to run it... was a milestone.

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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Tim M on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:26 pm

The BAA tweeted today that the BQ-5 registration will open tomorrow. With next year's BQ being 5 minutes lower, tomorrow's registration would be the same as next year's open registration.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Chris M on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:31 pm

@Nick Morris wrote:
@ssilvert wrote:
@Chris M wrote:I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:

Don't bother trying to figure it out.

My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.
I couldn't agree more, Chris. Running Boston was an incredible experience, but the real feeling of accomplishment came almost 18 months earlier when I crossed the finish line in Chicago and I had my BQ with only 37 seconds to spare.

Stan

But still...isn't the point of getting the BQ, so that you can actually run the race?? I would much rather say that I ran Boston, than just qualified for it.



Read my post up above. That is exactly what I addressed. IF you qualify, you should run the race if you want to. The path to do that even if you were shut out of registration despite having a BQ is to run Boston in connection with a charity entrance. You are still running Boston as a qualified runner. You will still start in your correct corral based on your BQ time. It will cost you and your friends and family more money because the fundraising requirements are not cheap. But you pick a worthy cause to support and that's money well spent on a number of levels.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Jerry on Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:01 pm

@Chris M wrote:
@Nick Morris wrote:
@ssilvert wrote:
@Chris M wrote:I may be in the minority but here is what I've told any of my friends who have asked about the new Boston standards and guessing at where the cut offs will be:

Don't bother trying to figure it out.

My view is that there is only one go/no-go time that matters and it is the current BQ standard for your gender/age. If you run that time or anything faster than it, even by .01 seconds, YOU HAVE A BQ.
I couldn't agree more, Chris. Running Boston was an incredible experience, but the real feeling of accomplishment came almost 18 months earlier when I crossed the finish line in Chicago and I had my BQ with only 37 seconds to spare.

Stan

But still...isn't the point of getting the BQ, so that you can actually run the race?? I would much rather say that I ran Boston, than just qualified for it.



Read my post up above. That is exactly what I addressed. IF you qualify, you should run the race if you want to. The path to do that even if you were shut out of registration despite having a BQ is to run Boston in connection with a charity entrance. You are still running Boston as a qualified runner. You will still start in your correct corral based on your BQ time. It will cost you and your friends and family more money because the fundraising requirements are not cheap. But you pick a worthy cause to support and that's money well spent on a number of levels.

The two points essentially the same unless you are french. lol!
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Diego on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:16 pm

Hmm, what if you BQ(late), are locked out, and want to bandit the race to help out a friend instead?



I've looked at most of the Boston charities and I hope I'm wrong on this stat, but it appears that < 60-70% of the $$$ from fundraising go directly to the folks in need due to bureaucracy, salaries, etc. Maybe MVW, "L" and other Bostonians have a better grasp on this one.
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Re: Boston Qualifying Question

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:28 pm

Since I'll always be a Bostonian (my daughter wrote in her BU application that she wanted to go to school in Boston because her mother still places "r's" where they don't belong), I can tell you that the charities in Boston benefit greatly and that almost Some where between 75-85% of the monies raised actually go to the charity. many qualified runners chose this route for that reason - like Bob K. My cousin (when she still ran) ran for Dana Farber for 5-6 yrs in a row even with a qualifying time back in the early 1990s.
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