The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, dating all the way back to 1897. It’s also arguably the most prestigious, with its requirement of qualifying times for any non-charity runner or non-overseas travel partner entrant to enter the race.
Even qualifying for the race is a major accomplishment for any runner. Now, it’s about to become even harder or downright impossible for the non-elite runner. The Boston Athletic Association announced major changes to the entrance process for the 2012 Boston Marathon race and qualification times for the 2013 race and beyond. While entrance was previously first come, first serve, the B.A.A. is now allowing the fastest qualifiers to register first. Those who beat the qualifying standard by at least 20 minutes get the first crack, followed a couple of days later by those who beat it by at least 10 minutes, and then a few days later by those who beat it by at least 5 minutes. Finally, seven days after registration started, everyone else who has a qualifying time can attempt to register. Considering how this year’s race sold out in about eight hours last year, good luck with trying to get a spot during open registration.