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Marathon Monday

We know it's Sunday, but today is special. It's the day before Marathon Monday. For most of the population, those words don’t have much meaning. For runners and Bostonians those words are EVERYTHING. Not only do they have meaning, but they conjure up feelings and images of sacrifice, strength, mental grit, determination and most recently, great triumph over a horror no one could have ever imagined.

What is Marathon Monday? For Bostonians and marathon runners, Marathon Monday occurs on the third Monday of every April. – The day when the greatest athletes gather in Hopkington, MA to run 26.2 miles to Boston, MA and take those last, and only, 2 turns – right on Hereford, left on Boylston - to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The day that all of Boston has a vacation day. For those of us “mortal” runners, it’s a chance to run alongside (well, in the same race as) the elite runners and hit the pinnacles of our running careers.

Right on Hereford Left on Boylston

How hard is it to get into the Boston Marathon? Competitor Magazine crunched the numbers and created a nice little pie chart to illustrate the number – a paltry 12% of all runners have been able to run this great race. That 12% equals 35,000 runners each year. Out of 65,000 who qualify.

  • How many Annual Marathon Finishers? About 550,000
  • How Many Annual Marathons? 1050
  • What Percent run Boston Qualifying Times? 12%
  • How Many Annual Boston Qualifiers? Around 65,000

Competitor Magazine Chart

Our point? For some of us it is the greatest marathon we will run, the feather on our cap, the marathon we want to do at least once, to say we did it, that we met the qualifying standard and ran the race. Most of us will never be Olympic caliber athletes so this race is the ultimate exclusive “runners club” that we aspire to join.

Once inside this “club”, we wear our Boston Athletic Association jackets, shirts, hats and any of our other prized possession proudly and when we see another in Boston Marathon gear we immediately feel a kinship of sorts. A conversation about what year you ran Boston, what race was your qualifier and any other Boston Marathon related information is sure to follow.

It is our glory race, the race we love to talk about time after time and the race we always swear we will re-qualify for. How hard is it to qualify for Boston?

Below is a list of qualifying times for 2016, but it gets tricky. You see, achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee entry, simply the opportunity to submit for registration. Submitting for registration does not guarantee that you will be accepted.

It's not only a race, it's a race to get in.


Effective September 13, 2014. All standards below are based on official submitted net time.

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec

For example, to get into the 2016 Boston Marathon, your qualifying time must be run on or after September 13, 2014. The closer your qualifying race to the date of the 2016 Boston Marathon, the less chance of getting in due to the race filling up.

Given all of the effort that goes into qualifying and getting to run the Boston Marathon, it’s no reason why it’s such a special race for those that do get in. And, after 2013, the race became a symbol of perseverance and triumph over unspeakable horror for not only the runners, but for all Americans.

The Boston Marathon bombings during the 2013 Boston Marathon horrified millions, injured many and ended the lives of loved ones. Perhaps what was most shocking about it all was the attack on what is considered to be one of the greatest races.

It was personal and meant to put fear into the hearts of runners, their families and millions of others. Instead, it united all runners and non-runners alike to become Boston Strong. Runners were more determined than ever to qualify and run the race in 2014 in memory and solidarity with those injured or lost in the 2013 attack.

This year, the second anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, will be no different. As is done every year, Boston will wear their blue proudly, celebrate and host thousands of runners and spectators of this great race. They will cheer while the runners trace the paths of many before them, make those last 2 turns to the finish line and celebrate with all those part of this great race.

Boston Marathon Finish Line

We wish everyone running the race an amazing and wonderful experience. Take it all in and enjoy being a part of this great race. The race is one day, but the memories and stories will be with you for a lifetimeWe'd love for you to share your Boston glory stories in the comments!

Keep on Running!

Julia, Patrick & Jo-Jo
(302) 727-5690
Rehoboth Beach Delaware Running Store & Triathlon Shop for Running Shoes

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