The Boston Marathon is changing its registration procedures for the 2012 race, in an effort to reward faster runners who are getting shut out of the process.Normally, any runner who had previously finished a 26.2-race within a pre-determined qualifying time was eligible for the Boston race.
But the increased popularity of marathon running (and people eager to earn bragging rights by “qualifying for Boston”) led to last year’s field of 26,800 runners filling up online in just eight hours. The previous record was 65 days.
That left many fast (but non-elite) runners who expected to get in, out in the cold.
So starting this fall, with registration for the 2012 race, the fastest runners in each age group will be given an exclusive window to apply. On the first two days, only runners who have bested the qualifying time by at least 20 minutes will be allowed to apply. On days three and four, those who have beaten it by 10 minutes can apply. On day five, five minutes.
Then if there are any slots left after the first week, then registration will be opened to anyone who has a qualifying time. Giving priority to faster runners will help keep the sport’s most elite race for the most elite runners.
Also, in 2013 the qualifying time will be lowered by five minutes making it even harder for weekend warriors to crash the party. More details can be found at the website (if it hasn’t crashed again.)
The 2011 race will be run in April.
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