Boston Marathon Changes 2012 Qualifying Times

What time do you need to run to enter the Boston Marathon? For the first time in recent history, the answer is: it depends.

To enter the Boston Marathon, now you need to meet or beat two criteria:
  1. Old Qualifying Time = 'Standard Eligible to Submit an Application' = run a time that meets the official qualifying standard in an officially recognized marathon
  2. New Qualifying Time = Entrant Time = Run a qualifying time that beats the qualifying standard by an amount determined after registration is closed
Of the 23,521 applications submitted by runners who ran Qualifying Times to enter the 2012 Boston Marathon, 20,081 were accepted. Unfortunately for the 3,228 runners who had their applications rejected, nearly 14% of those who applied.

To meet size constraints, it came down to this: if you ran a qualifying time, you needed to beat that time by one minute and 14 seconds to enter the race. The new Entrant Time = qualifying time minus 0:01:14. For example, in the M40-44 division:
  1. Old Qualifying Time = Standard Eligible to Submit an Application' = 3:20:00
  2. New Qualifying Time = Entrant Time = 3:18:46
These changes were announced by the Boston Athletic Association in the following press release excerpt:

September 26, 2011 -- The Boston Athletic Association today notified applicants of their acceptance into the 2012 Boston Marathon. This year and for the first time, the B.A.A. implemented a new registration process for eligible qualifiers whereby the fastest runners in relation to their qualifying times were able to submit their entry on a rolling basis.  Acceptance was based on performance rather than on a first come, first served basis.  The 116th Boston Marathon is on Patriots’ Day: Monday, April 16, 2012.
  • 23,521 applications were received during the two weeks of registration.
  • 20,081 applicants have been accepted or are in the process of being accepted, pending verification of qualifying performance (14,780 from Week One; 5301 from Week Two).
  • 3,228 applicants were unable to be accepted due to the large number of eligible qualifiers who submitted an application for entry combined with field size limitations.
  • An additional 277 qualifiers who had run 10 or more consecutive Boston Marathons were also accepted. 
Those who had a verified qualifying performance of one minute, 14 seconds or faster than the eligible standard for their age group have been accepted into the race.