Boston Marathon Changes Qualifying Times for 2020 Race

by Sarah Lorge Butler, Runner’s World

Runners had to be 4:52 faster than their qualifying time to gain acceptance to 2019 event.


The Boston Marathon, the holy grail race for serious distance runners, has become even harder to get into. Race organizers announced that the qualifying standards for the 2020 race will be 5 minutes faster for every age group.

For the sixth year in a row, the race turned away applicants who had met their qualifying time. In order to enter the 2019 race, which will be held on April 15, runners had to be at least 4 minutes, and 52 seconds faster than their qualifying standard, Boston Athletic Association (BAA) officials said on Thursday.

So far, 23,074 runners have been accepted into the 2019 race. That left 7,384 runners, out of 30,458 who applied, shut out of registration, even though they did achieve the posted standards.

Runners were learning of their registration status for the 2019 race by email.

The field for Boston is capped at 30,000. More than 80 percent of those are time qualifiers, and the time required varies based on a runner’s age and gender. The rest of the field gains entry by running for charities or through a different connection to the race.

Registration for Boston happens over a two-week period, with fastest runners able to register during the first week, which was September 10 through 15. Runners who bettered their qualifying standard by more than 20 minutes had the first crack at registration, followed by those who were 10 minutes faster, followed by those who were 5 minutes faster. The BAA has used the rolling registration system since 2012.

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