It’s all abuzz in the running community this morning, the Boston Athletic Association will be changing their registration process and eventually making changes to their qualifying times. Over the past two years, the Boston Marathon has sold out, this year in a number of hours.
In 2012, the BAA will institute rolling admission for qualifiers with the fastest runners being allowed to enter first. The field will be filled with the fastest of all qualifiers.
Then, in 2013, the BAA will lower qualifying times by five minutes across all age groups and both genders. The rolling admission process also will remain in place for 2013 and future marathons, continuing to allow the fastest runners to enter first.
From boston.com this morning.
For me, it’s refreshing to see BAA respond to the increased interest. The idea that you can qualify for the race, but you can’t register has never sat well with me. The algorithm that BAA chose to go with is probably the simplest we’ll see for race registration, and I hope it stays that way with the increased interest in running due to books like Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
Boston used to be a very elite and prestigious race. In a lot of ways, it still is, but in some it’s lost its regality. Caleb M. who ran the Boston Marathon last year thinks that “the rolling admission process restores what many have claimed Boston has recently lost, namely being the elite-level marathon above all others. But at the same time the new policy makes a murky process even more confusing for thousands of “middle-of-the-packers” who put in just as much time and dedication to train and qualify for the race. I understand and support the need to lower qualifying times, but will be watching closely to see how the rolling admission process impacts the great majority of qualifiers in future years.”
It could be the only real point of controversy that the BAA will face is the qualifying standards, but or Krista L., she thinks it’s a fair price to pay for such a popular race. “I think it’s completely fair. I actually expected a more dramatic cut in qualifying times, so this seemed reasonable. I actually like the concept of allowing fastest runners to register first. Sure, it’s going to cut out a lot of runners who qualified, probably including me one day (if I EVER qualify), but Boston is for the best of the best. So be it.”
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