I first heard of Boston Marathon on an episode of Rizzoli & Isles. I had never heard of it so I thought it was some kind of marathon like the ones we have in Portugal, but for amateurs. So, I went to Wikipedia and this is what’s there:
The Boston Marathon is an annual marathon hosted by several cities in Greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts. It is always held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April. Begun in 1897, inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. It is one of five World Marathon Majors.
Today, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) manages this event. Amateur and professional runners from all over the world compete in the Boston Marathon each year, braving the hilly New England terrain and varying weather to take part in the race.
Okay, it looks good. I immediately wanted to add this to my bucket list! And then I saw the qualification requirements.
The Boston marathon is open to runners 18 or older from any nation, but they must meet certain qualifying standards. To qualify, a runner must first complete a standard marathon course certified by a national governing body affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations within a certain period of time before the date of the desired Boston Marathon (usually within approximately 18 months prior). Qualifying standards for the 2013 race were tightened on February 15, 2011 by five minutes in each age-gender group for marathons run after September 23, 2011. Now, prospective runners in the age range of 18–34 must run a time of no more than 3:05:00 (3 hours and 5 minutes) if male, or 3:35:00 (3 hours and 35 minutes) if female; the qualifying time is adjusted upward as age increases. In addition, the 59 second grace period on qualifying times has been completely eliminated; for example, a 40–44 year old male will no longer qualify with a time of 3:15:01. For many marathoners to qualify for Boston (to “BQ”) is a goal and achievement in itself.
OMG. 42km in 3:35??? Shut up! But then…
An exception to the qualification times is for runners who receive entries from partners. About one-fifth of the marathon’s spots are reserved each year for charities, sponsors, vendors, licensees, consultants, municipal officials and marketers. In 2010, about 5,470 additional runners received entries through partners, including 2,515 charity runners. The marathon currently allocates spots to two dozen charities who in turn are expected to raise more than $10 million a year.
I still have this on my bucket list and I’m sure I will do it one day. Maybe not 2013… but I will have the medal after finishing it. I know I will. Running in one of my favorite cities in the world? I’m there. The only thing I don’t know is when. =)
Have you ever run on the Boston Marathon? Or know anyone that has? How was it?? =)