Qualify for the Boston
When it comes to running and racing marathons, qualifying for Boston is the golden achievement that many runners are working hard towards each year. What separates Boston from the other World Major Marathons is that Boston doesn’t have a lottery entry system like the other majors do. The only way to get into this marathon is by hitting the qualifying time for your age group or the charity entry. With just over 1,000 marathons in the US each year, and about a half million finishers in total, only about 10-12% of marathon runners will hit the BQ each year. To help make it easier for you, here’s everything you need to know about getting into this prestigious race.
Run a Qualifying Time:
In order to get into Boston, you’ll need to hit the qualifying time for your specific age group. It will also need to be done on a certified course. The qualifying time for the age groups get slower as the age groups progress in age. Your BQ is based on the age you will be on Boston race day.
Run Qualifying Time Before Cut Off Date:
Make sure your qualifying marathon is before the cut off date. For Boston 2024, the qualifying window opened on September 1st, 2022 and will close September 15th, 2023. For Boston 2025, the qualifying window will open on September 1st, 2023. It’s possible to double dip with one marathon as long as it’s achieved within each year's qualifying window.
When it comes to qualifying for Boston, hitting the standard isn’t always enough to secure your spot in Hopkinton because of the limited field size. About 30,000 runners are accepted each year. Depending on how many runners apply each year, you could be left stuck at home even though you’ve hit the standard. In these situations, Boston will accept runners from fastest to slowest for each age group. The best way to get around all of this is by giving yourself a buffer with your qualifying time. Even a buffer as little as a minute could be the difference whether or not you’re accepted.
Now that you know what needs to be done to earn your spot in Boston on Patriot's Day, you can get to the training, and start working hard, so you can experience those crowds coming down Boylston! You don’t want to miss out!