A Primer on Boston Marathon Qualifications

2020 BOSTON MARATHON OPEN DIVISION QUALIFYING STANDARDS (Effective Saturday, September 15, 2018)

All standards below are based on official submitted net time.

18-34 3hrs 00min 00sec 3hrs 30min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 20min 00sec 3hrs 50min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 35min 00sec 4hrs 05min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 50min 00sec 4hrs 20min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 05min 00sec 4hrs 35min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 20min 00sec 4hrs 50min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 35min 00sec 5hrs 05min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 50min 00sec 5hrs 20min 00sec

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon used to be a gold standard for many marathoners. However qualifying does not equal running the marathon. To have a shot at running in the Boston, one needs to beat the qualifying standards by 5 minutes.

In fact, more the better due to the rolling admission policy implemented in 2012.  This rolling admission was necessitated by the increasing number of qualified applicants in recent years and the limited field size for the marathon.

By rolling admission, the BAA opens the registration first to applicants who beat their qualification standards by 20 minutes.  Then by 10 minutes, 5 minutes in that order.  And  to all qualifiers if slots still available.

What do you think about the Boston Marathon’s rolling admission?


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2 Responses to A Primer on Boston Marathon Qualifications

  1. OmniRunner says:

    The demand for bib numbers is insatiable. The roads are as wide as they will ever be, so there aren’t any good solutions for Boston that I can think of.
    I know a few people who qualified but not by enough. Most of them were happy to say that they had qualified. Some were not so happy.
    I’ll never qualify so this is all academic for me!
    This is Boston’s “solution”. Other races use a lottery system which I also do not like. If five friends want to run Chicago but only two get a bib that kind of blows the fun marathon weekend in Chicago.
    While I’m glad these races remain popular and financially strong, I’ll stick with the less glamorous marathons where all you need is a check and the desire to run.


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