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:
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]