Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards

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Boston Marathon qualifying standards have been in place since 1970 for male runners and 1972 for female runners. These standards allow runners to gain entry into the annual Boston Marathon by running a previous marathon with a stipulated result and within a stipulated calendrical timeframe. The standards are made public by the marathon's organizer, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), well in advance of the qualifying window.

To "qualify" for the Boston Marathon (or "BQ") runners need to have run a marathon at a time given for their gender and age (as shown in the tables below). Before the 2012 marathon, qualification allowed runners to register and run the race. Since 2012, "qualifiers" who do not meet additional cutoff criteria (see below) are not eligible to enter the marathon by virtue of time qualification.

Men’s qualifying standards by year[edit]

18–34* 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–69 70–74 75–79 80+ Cutoff Reference
2020 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:20 3:25 3:35 3:50 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 TBD [1]
2019 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 4:52 [1]
2018 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 3:23
2017 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 2:09 [2]
2016 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 2:28 [3]
2015 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 1:02 [3]
2014 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 1:38 [3]
2013 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 0:00 [3]
2012 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:30 3:35 3:45 4:00 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 1:14 [3][4]
2003–2011 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:30 3:35 3:45 4:00 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 [3][5][4]
1990–2002 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:25 3:30 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:50 [3][5]
1987–1989 3:00 3:10 3:20 3:30 [3][5]
1984–1986 2:50 3:10 3:20 3:30 [3][5]
1981–1983 2:50 3:10 3:20 [3][5]
1980 2:50 3:10 [3][5]
1977–1979 3:00 3:30 [3][5]
1972–1976 3:30 (or 20 kilometers in 1:25, 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [3][6]
1971 3:30 (or 10 miles in 1:05; 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [3][6]
1970 4:00 [3][6]
  • Note: the minimum age before 1986 was 19.

Women’s qualifying standards by year[edit]

18–34* 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–69 70–74 75–79 80+ Cutoff Reference
2020 3:30 3:35 3:40 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 5:05 5:20 TBD [1]
2019 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 4:52 [1]
2018 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 3:23
2017 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 2:09 [2]
2016 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 2:28 [3]
2015 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 1:02 [3]
2014 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 1:38 [3]
2013 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 0:00 [3]
2012 3:40 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:05 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 5:15 5:30 1:14 [3][4]
2003–2011 3:40 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:05 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 5:15 5:30 [3][5][4]
1990–2002 3:40 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:05 4:10 4:15 4:20 [3][5]
1987–1989 3:30 3:40 3:50 4:00 [3][5]
1984–1986 3:20 3:30 3:40 3:50 [3][5]
1981–1983 3:20 3:30 [3][5]
1980 3:20 [3][5]
1977–1979 3:05 [3][5]
1972–1976 3:30 (or 20 kilometers in 1:25, 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [3][6]
  • Note: the minimum age before 1986 was 19.

Cutoff[edit]

Beginning with the registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon, a cutoff beneath the qualifying times was instituted. The cutoff time is given in minutes and seconds and is subtracted from the age group qualifying times to determine who will be allowed entry and who will not. For example, for the 2012 marathon, when registration closed and the 1:14 cutoff was announced, a runner who "qualified" with a time faster than 3:10:00, actually needed a time of 3:08:46 to earn entry into the marathon.

History of cutoffs:

2019 4 minutes 52 seconds

2018 3 minutes 23 seconds

2017 2 minutes, 9 seconds

2016 2 minutes, 28 seconds

2015 1 minute, 2 seconds

2014 1 minute, 38 seconds (this is 6 mins, 25 seconds faster than the 2012 cutoff since qualifying time was 5 minutes slower before 2013, and 2014 included 1,649 time qualifiers given guaranteed entry since they were unable to finish in 2013 due to the bombing, so would have been even faster if they had participated in the Sept open registration) [7]

2013 0 minutes (however, this is the first year that qualifying times were 5 mins faster than in 2012)

2012 1 minute, 14 seconds

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "2019 Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances".
  2. ^ a b "2017 Boston Marathon Cut-Off Is 2:09 Under Qualifying Standards".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "History of Qualifying Times". www.baa.org. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Qualifying for Boston Marathon made tougher after early sellout". USA Today. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "How Boston's Qualifying Times Inspire Excellence". www.runnersworld.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d "All in the Timing". www.runnersworld.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  7. ^ https://www.runnersworld.com/newswire/2014-boston-marathon-cut-off-is-138-under-qualifying-mark