Thursday Ramblings: the Boston Marathon Qualifier Tee

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Boston Marathon registration closed on September 23. As expected, there are more applicants than spots available.

For some runners — how many thousands, we don’t know yet, but it will be thousands — this will have a heartbreaking ending. After months of training and hard work, after running a BQ time, they will not make it into the race.

I don’t want in any way to diminish the work of the fastest of the fast — those who have no trouble running a marathon 20 minutes or more below their BQ standard. Obviously, hard work and hundreds of miles a month go into running a sub-3 hr 26.2.

I keep thinking, though, that the people who qualified with the smallest margins have worked even harder to qualify. Those are the 10-minute/ mile runners who had to bring their pace down to 9 min/ mile; the 9-minute milers who had to run a 8:15 average (yup, that’s me!). Often, the “squeakers” are the ones who have to bring down their pace the most.

Sub-3 marathoners must have the genetics to run at that level, in addition to putting in the work. Running a 3:35, on the other hand, is doable for most anyone who is willing to put in the hard work and be consistent.

Do these runners deserve to run Boston next year? Of course they do. In an ideal world, the BAA would open up more spots and accommodate all qualified applicants.

Since that is not the case, though, here’s another (admittedly, extremely #firstworldproblem) question:

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 9.07.56 AM

Adidas has already launched its 2016 Boston Marathon Qualifier collection. Note the use of the word “qualifier” — not finisher, not in training, not runner.

If one qualified for the race but did not get in, should they order and wear that shirt?

This is the question on my mind today, as I still wait to hear from BAA.

[tweetthis]If you qualified for the @bostonmarathon but didn’t get in, would you wear this T? #runchat #bostonmarathon[/tweetthis]

4 thoughts on “Thursday Ramblings: the Boston Marathon Qualifier Tee

  • September 27, 2015 at 10:25 am

    In spite of (or because of?) my age (now 66) I, for my great surprise, qualified for Boston Marathon 2016. I tried to order this Tee shirt but Adidas sends it only inside USA, I live in Northern Europe (Finland). Any kind advice??

    • September 28, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Congrats!! I’m not affiliated in any way with Adidas, so I don’t know if there is a way around this for you – maybe if you have US-based friends they can get it for you and ship over to Finland?

  • September 25, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I REALLY hope you get in! I can’t imagine how tough that would be to qualify but not get in. My goal all year was to qualify and I fell short in all 4 marathons I ran this year so these past 2 weeks have been really tough for me. Especially seeing those who have qualified by 20+ minutes posting about how excited they are that they got in – you said it really well though – of course it’s a lot of work to do that, and they should be proud, but I do agree that the people who can barely get their BQ are generally the ones who work the most and want it the most. I would get the tee and wear it with pride if I were you! Qualifying is a big deal!!!

    • September 25, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Thank you – I needed to hear (read) that! I hope you’ll keep trying for Boston – I know I will if I don’t get in next year’s race! Best of luck!


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