Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The 2011 Boston Marathon was at the weekend and it sounds as though it must have been incredible. No less than two (Kenyans obviously) ran the course under the World record time of 2:03:59 and Ryan Hall, the fastest American Marathon runner, registered a spectacular time of 2:04:58! Unfortunately, Boston Marathon does not qualify as a course on which World records can be broken because it is a slightly downhill, point to point course (which can benefit, as it did this year, from a tailwind). Boston Marathon is special for two reasons - firstly, it is the longest running Marathon having started in 1897, the year after the Olympic Marathon, and secondly, the strict qualifying times mean that there is a generally higher standard. It also has an unbelievable atmosphere or so they say. For many runners, qualifying for Boston Marathon is the equivalent of qualifying for Kona (the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii).
Last year the race numbers sold out in 8 hours so they are changing the registration this year. First they will open the registration to those who are more than 20 minutes faster than the qualifying time (for their age group), then to those who are ten minutes faster, to those who are 5 minutes faster and finally, to all those who have qualified. Luckily, I was over 5 minutes faster so I will be able to register just before everyone else (assuming there are still slots available!). For 2013, they will be making the qualifying times 5 minutes faster across the board (although I will be in the next age group by then, so it will be the same cutoff for me).
It looks as though I will be doing Boston and New York next year unless, of course, I get lucky and get picked out of a hat for New York this year.