September 16, 2014

What is a squeaker?

Any of you that follow our blog, Facebook page or on Twitter know that last Friday was a big day for me.  It was the day I could register for the Boston Marathon and I was nervous, excited, ecstatic all at the same time.  Let me backtrack a little. Last year, when qualified runners were waiting for their chance to register, I learned something that surprised me.  Not everyone with a qualifying time gets the opportunity to run the race.  The only way you got a spot for the 2014 race was to qualify by more than 1 minute 38 seconds beyond the already difficult qualifying times.  These standards are put in place by the Boston Athletic Association, who manages the race.  There are spots given to charity runners and between those and the people who did not finish the 2013 because of the bombings, there wasn't enough space for the qualifiers. Nearly 3,000 qualifed runners were sorely disappointed when they found out they would not be running the 2014 Boston Marathon.




A rolling registration process started last Monday with the speediest runners, those who qualify in their age group by more than 20 minutes. Wednesday is the 10 minute or better group and Friday of the first week, those who qualified by 5 minutes or better.  Then come the squeakers.  I only just recently learned about this group.  What you ask, is a squeaker?  A squeaker is someone who has qualified by less than five minutes, but there is more.  This group of runners, like I did, find the best possible marathon, that is flat, fast and with hopefully optimal weather conditions to give themselves the chance to run that miracle race. Some have qualified more than once, but each time they think it could be their last. I feel exactly the same way.

Today, when I was looking at Facebook page for the Boston Marathon,  I read many posts of those waiting to find out their fate.  My fingers and toes are crossed for each and every runner who made the qualifying standard in their age group so that they can experience this race. I look forward to toeing the line next April 20th in Hopkinton with these runners. This could be my only chance to run this race and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

30 comments:

  1. I have actually heard of the term the other year when I was reading an article in Runner's World around the time of Boston.We are rooting for you to get in. Goodluck! -L

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    1. thanks Lacey, I did already get my spot! :)

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  2. Wow, I can only imagine how high the anticipation must be for some people waiting to hear whether or not they got in. I hope that everybody that qualified and wants to run Boston in April is able to!

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    1. Exactly Kathryn....I feel so bad that some who qualify will not get to run.

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  3. I heard of the term a few years ago. Squeakers deserve to be there too!

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    1. In a perfect world, anyone who met the qualifying standard would be able to run.

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  4. Fingers crossed. Hope you get in!

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    1. Thanks Darlene, I'm safe this time since I was able to register on Friday.

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  5. If I ever get to run Boston, I would DEFINITELY be a squeaker...studying my Garmin and doing the math for an entire 26.2 miles! LOL Congratulations, and I can't wait to follow your adventures in Boston.

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    1. Haha, I love the studying your Garmin comment. Yes, I was lucky to have a great pacer who kept track of my time and kept my qualifying race light and fun.

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  6. Oh my goodness, that would be so disheartening to BQ and then not be able to experience the race. I am glad you were able to get in!

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    1. Thanks so much Lauren. My heart broke last year for a girl who qualified and did not get a spot. And she tried to get a spot through many charities too.

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    1. Thank you Leslee....it feels surreal to actually see my name on the Entrants list on the Boston Marathon page!

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  8. so excited for you! and very excited you were able to sign up and are all set to go!

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  9. I hadn't heard that term before, but I knew about the qualifying process. I can't even imagine qualifying and still not getting in. I'd be so heart broken! I'm very excited for you and I plan to stalk, I mean follow, your every post about it! ;)

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    1. Please stalk all you want Jamie. I will be posting alot next year and readers will probably get sick of it!

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  10. Wow. Never heard of that before. I can't imagine how devastating it would be if I didn't get in after qualifying!

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    1. I know someone who missed out last year Allison and she was heartbroken. Too much effort goes into qualifying without getting a spot.

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  11. I had heard about this, and it must be so nerve-wracking! I'm so glad you are in and I know you are going to have an amazing Boston experience.

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    1. Jennifer, my only goal is to cross the finish line in one piece and know I have done it!

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  12. My goal is to run Boston and I'm convinced I will have to be a 'squeaker' to do it, or else I'll have to wait til I'm 60 :)

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    1. There you go Sue....I am 60! Helps to be older or not depending on your perspective!

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  13. By how much time did you "squeak by"?

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    1. I actually qualified by 6 minutes and 32 seconds so I was able to register last Friday.

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  14. Wow incredible that you qualify that's so amazing! Can't wait to hear about your training and the race next year. Congrats!!

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    1. Thanks so much Deborah. It pays to be in the "old lady" category!

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  15. It would be so hard to hit the time and not squeak in. Cannot imagine that. I hope they all get in.

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  16. Good luck to you! If you are a squeaker - I manage the marathon team for Samaritans, Inc. and we would love to have you as a members of our team! Email me at erabinowitz@samaritanshope.org if you are interested in learning more – our applications are due October 24th.

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