Alright. So the Boston Marathon reached capacity after just 8 hours from when registration opened. This can only mean two things: there are more people than ever before who want to run the boston marathon, and there are more people who have been willing and able to do the work necessary to qualify.
So the axe finally fell on the old standards. for 2012, the qualifying times will stay the same, and for 2013 and beyond, they are 5 minutes faster. but here's the kick: there will be a four tier rolling registration program. those who have run 20 minutes faster than the qualifying time, will get first crack at registering. a few days later, if there are any spots still left, the those with 10 minutes faster will get in. stage three wll be for 5 minutes faster, and the final stage will be base qualifiers.
bottom line, with the growth and interest in this sport and in this race, it's safe to say that the standards just went up 20 minutes next year and 25 minutes the year after.
some people complain that they don't like the limbo of not knowing whether or not they qualified, well, train harder and break the 20 minute barrier. simple as that!
some folks have complained that female qualifying times are easier than males, and that these changes further give then an easier time to qualify; but i am not buying it. that is just sour grapes.
boston is supposed to be the bench mark for the greats in the sport. traditionally, only the top 10 % of marathon finishers are qualifiers. this won't change a thing. it makes sure that only the best will get there...
has it just gotten tougher to qualify for boston? Yes! are the changes equally fair to everyone? probably not. will everyone have to train extra hard to get in? absolutely. so c'mon folks. stop whining and start training harder.
so what does this mean for me? well, if i want a guaranteed shot at getting first crack at the registration process on Sept 12, then i must run a 3.25.00 or faster. the most logical time and place to attempt a qualification would be a late August run, perhaps Quebec City.
so, what's it going to take to get myself running at that level? well, one heck of a lot of work. once i am sufficiently recovered from my surgery, i will have to take on a text book 4 month elite-level marathon running training program. but do it in 6 months instead, to allow for more weight loss. this is definitely doable and i am definitely going to make it a priority. should be an interesting challenge. in fact. it make be my toughest challenge ever, and that's saying a lot!