Since qualifying for Boston, a lot of people have said they’ll see me in Boston.
Hold your horses there.
Boston entry isn’t what it used to be. In the past, all you needed was to qualify and get a guaranteed entry. Nowadays, it’s no longer guaranteed.
Here’s a brief history on how the rules have changed after 2010.
In 2010, all spots were filled after a mere 8 hours and 3 minutes after registration opened. It was a stampede, and unfortunately shut out a lot of the faster runners. BAA was forced to make changes for the following years.
First they started with rolling registration. Those who ran fastest got to register first. Runners with 20 minutes under their qualifying time (BQ-20) got to register on the first day, then it was the BQ-10, followed by BQ-5. If spots were still available after the first week, registration was open to all BQ times (we’ll call these the “BQ squeakers”) the second week.
For the 2012 race, there were more runners than spots available, so some of the “squeakers” who qualified by less than 1 minute and 14 seconds were shut out.
Starting with the 2013 race, the qualifying time was cut by 5 minutes across the board for all gender and age groups. This made it tougher to qualify, and so everyone who qualified made it in for that year.
For 2014, there was higher demand because of the 2013 bombing. Again, higher demand meant some runners needed to be cut. This year the cut off was set at 1 minute and 38 seconds under BQ time.
So you see, qualifying no longer guarantees a spot in the race.
Now, I didn’t know any of this prior to the race. I thought I just needed to qualify. Had I known this ahead of time, I think I would have been a mental case before the race. On the flip side, had I known, I would have pushed myself a little harder during the race, but that could have easily ended in disaster. Instead, I was running merrily ignorant with the pacer. So was ignorance bliss? Who knows.
Anyway, yours truly is a BQ squeaker. So don’t buy that airline ticket until we know for sure in Sept 2014.