Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon Weekend October 19th 2014

For Runners - By Runners
Let us help you get your Boston Qualifier

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Registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon

Below you can see our thoughts regarding the changes Boston made in 2012 following the registration problems in 2010.  In the years that have followed Boston has refined their process, however in 2011 through 2012 they opened registration in September and, as expected, quickly sold out.

The date for opening registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon has not yet been set.  It is our hope that they will delay the opening of registration until after the fall marathon season.  We hope this not just for Baystate, but for all the great fall marathons throughout New England and so that the many runners here in New England can qualify this fall for the 118th running of Boston.

Because of the tragedy at this year's Boston, we expect this to be the most competitive Boston ever.  Per the policies of the Boston Marathon, we expect the fastest runners within each qualifying age group to be selected to fill the field.  This means you will probably need better than your BQ time to make it.  How much better is anyone's guess.  Regardless your best chance to run a fast qualifying time remains the Baystate Marathon.  We will do everything we can to help you get that fast marathon.

Our thoughts about registration for the the 2012 Boston Marathon

Like many of you we are disappointed that the management of the Boston Marathon choose to exclude the 2011 fall marathons from qualification for the 2012 Boston Marathon.

The tightening of the qualification standards and the use of a rolling entry system will no doubt please some and anger others.  It is hard to see that it will do much to change the dynamics of registration, other than to skew the front of the field to the faster side.  Historically tightening the Boston qualification standards has not decreased the size of the field - rather it has only served to increase the desirability to qualify.  We have little doubt that it will once again "sell out" and rather quickly.

Given that, we are extremely puzzled, and as we said disappointed, that the Boston management team  decided to make the registration date open on September 12th.  This date needlessly excludes nearly all of the fall marathons.  The date could just as easily have been December 1st or even January 1st.  Regardless of the date the event will sell out in the allotted 8 or 9 days.

By excluding the fall marathons they have spoiled the traditional marathon training cycle (at least here in North America).  Most of our runners and I'm sure many of you, train for the fall marathons in hopes of qualifying for the following year's Boston Marathon.  After running a fall BQ it's time for a little R&R and then starting in January we get ready for Boston.

Also because the Fall Marathons are excluded most of the runners will be using qualifications 12 or more months out of date.  We're not sure what affect that will have, but it can't be good.

So...  what about Baystate - it is still your best opportunity to qualify for Boston, all be it - for 2013.  We still have the fastest course in Massachusetts and one of the top five fastest in North America.  We still expect about a third of our runners will post up BQs on race day.  We are still one of only four club run marathons in New England.  We deliver a great running experience because we are runners - and we've gone though all that you do to run a marathon.  In fact, many of our main contributors have run Baystate to qualify for Boston - so we know what it takes and we'll help get you there.

What will 2013 hold?  What we hope is that the management of the Boston Marathon corrects their "mistake" and moves the 2013 registration date back to include the fall marathons.

In the meantime - come run Baystate and get your 2013 BQ ticket punched!

A 2012 Postscript:

You might already know - but for the 2013 Boston Marathon the registration period will again be before the fall marathon season.  We are again disappointed - but we are very hopeful that things will change for 2014.  The Boston race committee obviously has a difficult job - and 2011 was a very difficult year for them leading to many changes.  We know they want to let things calm down before they going making additional changes - so 2013 will be essentially the same as 2012.  Once the affect of the tighter BQ standards is fully understood there is a good chance the registration period will be moved to include the fall marathons again.  We can only hope.

In the meantime - come run Baystate and get your 2014 BQ ticket punched!  In 2011 25% of our runners ran a 2013 BQ - be one of the ones to do it this year.


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