In the running world for many Boston is the ultimate destination.  It is the pinnacle of training and a marathon that many runners strive to run.  The Boston Marathon is the only marathon that you have to qualify to run.  Just being able to say I qualified for Boston would be an honor for many people.  There are many marathons that market their races for just that cause.  You will see some races that say things like “High Boston Qualifier totals”, “Fast course”, or “Flat course”, the list goes on.

To BQ, as it is known to many runners, is no small feat.  The marathon qualifying time differs between male and female.  Also as you get older, the qualifying time gets slower.  When I say slower, it is still a challenge to qualify at any age.  So, here are the qualifying times for both Men and Women.

AGE GROUP

MEN

WOMEN

   

18-34

3hrs 10min

3hrs 40min

35-39

3hrs 15min

3hrs 45min

40-44

3hrs 20min

3hrs 50min

45-49

3hrs 30min

4hrs 00min

50-54

3hrs 35min

4hrs 05min

55-59

3hrs 45min

4hrs 15min

60-64

4hrs 00min

4hrs 30min

65-69

4hrs 15min

4hrs 45min

70-74

4hrs 30min

5hrs 00min

75-79

4hrs 45min

5hrs 15min

80 and over

5hrs 00min

5hrs 30min

 

The Boston Marathon is more than a race, it is more than just a marathon for many people who train hard to arrive in Boston.  I know many runners who have the ultimate goal of qualifying for Boston.  The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon having reached its 112th running in 2008.

One of the inspirational stories of the Boston Marathon is Team Hoyt (http://www.teamhoyt.com/).  This father and son team has run the marathon 26 years straight.   Dick Hoyt pushes his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair through the course.  This team has a personal best marathon time of 2:40:47.  Team Hoyt has completed 65 marathons and 224 triathlons (including 6 ironman competitions).

I will run Boston someday; I’m still working on achieving my BQ, which is currently 3:10:59.  I have a few milestones to reach during the road to Boston.  I’ve broken them down into 5 steps to BQ; I’ve completed 2 of the 5 steps so far.

 

ü  Complete a Marathon

ü  Sub 4 Hour Marathon

§  Run a Half Marathon at BQ pace (1:35:20) – 1:44:11 current Best

§  Run 20 Miles at BQ pace (2:25:30) – 2:39:43 current best

§  Run a marathon at BQ pace (3:10:59) – 3:50:16 current best

So, all in all, the Boston Marathon is one race that goes beyond the normal 26.2 miles that comprises a marathon.  For many it is a runners dream and a long sought goal.  In this aspect, the journey is much more important than arriving at the start.  Finishing the race is symbolic of a journey well traveled and a goal well met.

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