How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon pic
Boston Marathon
Image: baa.org

Graeme Queen is an information technology professional who has mentored several coworkers into leadership positions in his capacity as a senior director. An avid runner, Graeme Queen is training to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Because the Boston Marathon’s field size grew significantly throughout the 1960s, organizers instituted an official qualifying time in 1970. Interested participants were required to submit certification from their district or college coach or the Amateur Athletics Union’s long distance running chairman that they trained enough to complete the marathon within 4 hours. The qualifying time was shortened to 3 hours and 30 minutes the following year and continued to fluctuate for men and women of different age groups throughout the next few decades.

For the 2018 Boston Marathon, men between the ages of 18 and 34 must achieve a qualifying race time of 3 hours and 5 minutes, while men 80 and over are given a time of 4 hours and 55 minutes. The qualifying times vary by 5, 10, and 15 minutes for ascending age groups, which, starting at 35, are grouped by five-year periods. Women, meanwhile, receive an additional 30 minutes in each age group.

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Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon pic
Boston Marathon
Image: baa.org

Graeme Queen brings over 20 years of experience as an IT professional to his current role as senior director of IT solution delivery. In his free time, Graeme Queen runs 40 to 60 miles per week and hopes to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon in the world.

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, a runner must achieve a minimum time based on his or her age group on a course certified by either the Association of International Marathons and Runners (AIMS) or USA Track and Field (USATF). For example, to qualify in the 18-34 age group, men must finish in three hours and five minutes while women must finish in three hours and 35 minutes. Although qualification for the race requires a runner to achieve this standard, doing so does not guarantee acceptance into the race. The runners with the best qualification times are accepted first.

The 2017 Boston Marathon will be held on April 17. For additional details on the event, and to view a full list of qualification times, visit www.baa.org.