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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Boston Marathon Awarded Prize Money to Non-Elite Women

By Erin Strout Re-posted from Runner’s World

In my hometown, every Fourth of July begins with a one-mile race on the streets of Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s set up like the Fifth Avenue Mile or the Carlsbad 5000—waves of competitors, grouped by age and gender, compete against each other.

If I enter the Downtown Mile, I can choose the category in which I want to compete. Being “an old,” I can opt for the masters wave or if I’m feeling ambitious, I can go for the open division and risk being whooped by a pack of teenagers. Typically I opt to skip it altogether and volunteer instead.

However, if I decide to compete in the open category, place 10th, but run a faster time than the winner of the masters division, I don’t earn the first-place masters award—it was a different race, with different competitors, which created different racing strategies and dynamics. It was an entirely different competition—one in which I chose not to participate. I go home empty-handed.

Seems fair, doesn’t it?

In the aftermath of the 2018 Boston Marathon—a year in which the treacherous weather conditions played heavily into the racing tactics of top female athletes—three women in the open category and two masters athletes ended up in the final results with faster finishing times than women who received the prize money. The faster women were ineligible for the awards because they didn’t qualify to compete with the elite women’s-only field of 46 athletes, which started at 9:32 a.m. in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Instead, these women began at 10 a.m. in the next wave of 7,500 mixed-gender competitors.

What happened next included predictable outrage and backlash. Just as predictably, much of the controversy was unwarranted and based on misinformation. Some news outlets framed it as an issue of gender inequity. Others didn’t fully understand the rules involved.

 

Original Runner’s World article here

2018 Boston Marathon Security Will Include Drones, Undercover Police

From GovTech.com

Boston Marathon bombing responder Carlos Arredondo holds a “Boston Strong” flag as he and his wife, Melida, left, cheer runners near the finish line at the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2017, in Boston.

Authorities at all levels have planned six months in advance of April 16, when the 122nd Boston Marathon race will take place. This year commemorates the fifth anniversary of the marathon bombings that left three dead and hundreds injured, and officials say their safety methods have adapted since that devastating day.

“I’m sure everyone can remember where they were, who they were with and what they were doing when the bombs exploded,” said MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green at a security briefing in Boston on Tuesday. “It was that devastating to us.”

“However with the passing of time human nature has its way of minimizing events that occur,” Green added. “We cannot become complacent.”

Officials across local, regional and federal law enforcement spoke on Tuesday to remind the public that while there are no credible threats to the marathon, spectators must remain vigilant in large crowds. Several officials repeated the mantra, “If you see something, say something.”

Marathon Monday attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators, on top of the 50,000 runners participating in the race. Police officials say between 7,500 and 8,000 public safety personnel will be situated along the race route, which spans across eight cities and towns. According to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz, 5,000 of those personnel will be uniformed and plain-clothed officers.

Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin said there will also be a “significant number of undercover troopers” mixed into crowds on race day. “Certain parts of our security operation will not be seen by the public,” Gilpin said.

This year security measures will also include three tethered drones — two in Hopkinton and one in Natick — which will stream live video feeds to authorities. For the public, the entire marathon route remains a no-drone zone, officials said.

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Telegraph story details Tim Don’s arduous journey back from broken neck; training for Boston Marathon

In this story from the Telegraph, Tim Don’s story of recovery from being hit on the bike just days before last year’s IRONMAN World Championship is detailed, including the five holes drilled into his head for his halo device.

Read about Tim Don’s life-threatening crash in Kona HERE

From the Telegraph

Tim Don: how the fastest ever Ironman shook off a broken neck to keep on running

In October 2017, Tim Don was cycling in Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, one of the southernmost islands in the secluded American state. The British athlete was putting the finishing touches on months of training ahead of the biggest race of his career: the Ironman World Championship.

But Don, a three-time Olympic triathlete, didn’t get to take part in that race in Hawaii. Three days before the big day, while cycling along a designated lane, he was t-boned by a car turning into a petrol station. Thirty minutes later Don woke up on his way to hospital with a broken neck. It was a day before his daughter’s birthday; he feared he might never compete again.

But there’s definitely something setting athletes apart – particularly those of extreme sports or extreme distances. While most would take as long as possible to recover, Don had itchy feet within days. Despite the pain, and against doctors’ advice, he was back on the exercise bike within three weeks. “The screws kept coming loose”, he explains. “They had to keep screwing them back into my skull. One came loose so many times it was making a big indentation. They were worried they’d puncture the skull.” And then, the understatement of the century: “It’s pretty intense”.

Just four months on, Don is training for the Boston Marathon in April, with the ultimate goal of realising his dream in Hawai’i this year…

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