CCM Diary: Updated Report on the Effect of the New Boston Qualifying Times

Registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon is starting.  The BAA recently sent out early registration notices to the runners who have finished the last 10 (or more) consecutive Boston Marathons.  The rolling admission process for everyone else starts September 10.  So it seems like now is a good time to revisit my study of the effect of the new Boston qualifying standards on the number of potential entrants.

I can now compare the 2011 and 2012 results from MarathonGuide.com for 22 marathons with more than 108,000 finishers.  If I use the results from all 22 races, there’s a drop of almost 50% in the qualifying rate.  However, most of that drop comes from the Boston Marathon itself.   If I leave out the Boston numbers, the drop in the BQ rate is only about 20%.  Boston normally has a disproportionate number of qualifiers (for obvious reasons), but those numbers were hit hard by the heat in 2012.

The most important question, “How does this affect my chances of getting into Boston?”, remains unanswered.  If I had to guess, a 20% drop doesn’t seem like enough to keep Boston 2013 from filling up before I run Cape Cod at the end of October.  But if I run a BQ at the Cape, the new standards should help me get in in 2014.

Here are the numbers (for another look at my methodology, refer to my blog post from April):

  2011     2012  
Marathon # #BQ % # #BQ %
Boston 23,879 10374 43.60% 21,554 2705 12.55%
City of Los Angeles 19,626 796 4.06% 18,729 667 3.56%
Cleveland 2,666 435 16.32% 2,594 220 8.48%
Disney World 13,512 638 4.72% 13,467 483 3.59%
Eugene 2,290 551 25.00% 2,345 467 20.50%
Foot Traffic Flat 393 81 20.60% 385 62 16.10%
Glass City 638 127 19.90% 778 144 18.50%
Grandma’s 6,333 1144 18.06% 5,785 695 12.01%
Houston 6,903 575 8.33% 7,637 997 13.05%
Light at the End of the
Tunnel
271 57 21.00% 335 76 22.70%
Miami 3,484 369 10.59% 3,906 260 6.66%
Mississauga 1,066 258 24.20% 814 136 16.70%
National 2,877 419 14.56%  3219  158 4.90%
Ojai 2 Ocean 256 72 28.10% 800 188 23.50%
Ottawa 4,071 695 17.07% 4,178 640 15.70%
Pittsburgh 4,265 398 9.33% 4,608 287 6.23%
Pocono Mountain Run For
The Red
630 184 29.20% 968 151 15.60%
Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona 5,062 703 13.89% 3,863 284 7.35%
Run Charlevoix 330 68 20.60% 331 49 14.80%
Sugarloaf 381 128 33.60% 563 99 17.60%
The San Francisco 5,999 468 7.80% 6,440 436 6.77%
Vancouver International 3,218 447 13.89% 4,232 481 11.37%
Total 108,151 18987 17.56% 104,312 9527 9.13%
(without Boston) 81,395 8194 10.22% 82,758 6822 8.12%

(3.9 mi. run; 146#)

14 Responses to CCM Diary: Updated Report on the Effect of the New Boston Qualifying Times

  1. […] CCM Diary: Updated Report on the Effect of the New Boston Qualifying Times « Y42K? says: August 21, 2012 at 8:28 am […]

  2. Thank you for the intriguing analysis.
    Regarding the Light at the End of the Tunnel marathon, the increase in BQ percent from 2011 to 2012 was due to the weather, warm and sunny in 2011, cool and cloudy with a little drizzle for 2012. Also, total finisher count in 2012 was 351, not 337, and percentage of BQ % was 21.9% based on 77 runners qualifying.

  3. […] after my recent post on Boston Marathon qualifying standards, I contacted Amby Burfoot to continue an email conversation […]

  4. So, I have the Boston QT -10 what do you think my chances of getting a place are given that I’m travelling from the UK and have already booked flights and hotel?

  5. David Yanez says:

    How about a QT-3? This is my first BQ and its getting depressing realizing I may not even get to run the event.

  6. Bob says:

    marathonguide.com did not adjust their BQ indicators for the new, faster standards, at least for some age groups. Click on a race and see how they mark times between 3:05 and 3:10 as BQs for men under 35.

  7. Jim Carroll says:

    Ray,
    I’m following the 2013 Boston field size closely.
    I think it’s ~13k-14k, at the moment.
    Have you run the Cape before?

  8. Registration for Boston 2013 closed at about 11AM ET today.

  9. […] from the cities and towns along the marathon route, will have some tough choices to make. I have a history of obsessing (there’s a reason one of my books is called Overthinking the Marathon) over the […]

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