October 1, 2015

Crying a little for my "squeaked out" runner friends.

Yesterday was such a big day for so many Boston Marathon registration hopefuls. All serious runners know that reaching a BQ (Boston qualifying standard) only gives you the opportunity to register for the race.  It does not guarantee you a spot for several reasons, but most of all because many spots are held back for charity runners, the corporate sponsors and local organizations that support the race in so many ways.  Unfortunately, that means many runners have a very sad day when they get their  rejection email from the Boston Athletic Association.

Several of our running friends and in fact several of the runners in my Without Limits coached group did not gain an entry.  A first time qualifier, one of our coaches missed by seconds.  As devastating as these disappointments can be, there is alot to be said to have reached a BQ time as a marathon runner.  I have no idea what the statistics are as to how many marathon runners never achieve a BQ time, but it is probably pretty high.  Having good running genes, a great training plan, a support crew and of course the perfect race day conditions usually are necessary to reach such a goal. One girl in a Boston Marathon Facebook group that I belong to finally got her spot after qualifying 4 times previously and not making the cutoff.  Tears of joy would certainly be appropriate for this hardworking, dedicated runner who never gave up.  There are many more stories to share, but the sad ones are those of runners who thought they would have a spot based on the prior year cutoff times.

Moving on, I hope the "squeakers" missing out this year have a great marathon to give them an entry into the 2017 race.  The B.A.A. has not changed the standards for qualifying times for 2017, so hopefully with an additional push, many of those who did not get a spot this year will gain entry in the future.

If you want to read more about "squeakers, here is more info.

* A great post about being "squeaked out" by Jesica at Runladylike

* From the B.A.A. website, here are all the statistics for the 2016 race.

* Great perspective from a blogging runner, Suzlife who gained entry

Congrats to everyone who earned that coveted spot and for those that did not, good luck as you attempt to qualify again.
(Pam)

19 comments:

  1. I am so sad for a few friends of mine who missed the cutoff time! They are both bound and determined to work hard and qualify again this year!

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    1. Aww Karen, it seems everyone knows a runner who did not get a spot. It is really tough since once you earn a BQ time, it only seems natural that you can run the Boston Marathon. I hope your friends get in next year.

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  2. Getting squeaked out is no fun, but I think that people really need to stand by the fact that they still ran incredible races! If they are so focused on running the time, they need to realize that they did just that, first of all, so they accomplished their goal! There are other ways to run Boston, if that is their true goal, as well. But still, it sucks to have thought that you were guaranteed something and then to have it taken away. And to have to wait this long to find out! SHAKE OF THE FIST.

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    1. Yes, I could also be here shaking a fist. It is a huge accomplishment to run a great race, but the disappointment is very real. Getting charity spots is not always easy, a friend tried to get one 2 years ago after being "squeaked out". No luck, but she requalified last year and is on the entry list for 2016. So happy for her.

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  3. Thanks for this lovely post. My heart goes out to your friend who qualified four times before getting in. As I've said many times, running the Boston Marathon or even just qualifying isn't the true measure of success. It is the improvements we make as runners, how everyone keeps going even when it would be easier to quit/stop, finding out we are stronger than we think and defying limits we once thought we could never achieve. Running is a journey full of highs and lows. Yesterday was a low for me, but it will be followed by many highs. Thinking of everyone who got squeaked out and to all who made it in and one day will. xoxo

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    1. Jesica I know you will qualify again and your attitude is amazing. I wish somehow organizations that had bibs to spare would offer them to runners who did qualify. It would make those runners happy and the organizations could have a great feeling too helping out very deserving hard working runners.

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  4. I can't imagine qualifying the Boston and not getting in.

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    1. Yes, it is a heartbreaking day when you find you did not get a spot. Most runners work even harder to go further under the qualifying time the following year.

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  5. This is just such an amazing race, as you know. That so many want to get in, and I think it's incredible how many people are willing to work so hard to get there. I can only imagine how sad it is to know you qualify but still can't get in.
    I almost wish they would cut down on some of the charity runners (I know that sounds terrible.. but..) and let more who qualify in. The competition is just going to get steeper and tougher as next year and this fall you know people will be trying to shave 2-5 + minutes to hopefully get in next year!
    With that all said, hopefully the fact that they can at least tell people they run fast enough to qualify gives them a little to go on. Boy it would be tough though to be squeaked out!

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    1. Kristy I could not agree more about the charity runners, but then people bash me for being uncharitable. It has everything to do with the history and significance of the Boston Marathon, not my being uncharitable. Having a coach squeaked out this year by just a few seconds was a real disappointment for him and our team.

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  6. I can't even imagine getting a BQ and then not actually getting in. The disappointment must be staggering. I feel so bad for them!

    I understand the charity and promotional slots- that's the only way I got into NYC- but Boston is such a prestigious event, it seems to me that more slots should be given to qualifiers.

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    1. Jamie I feel the exact same way. The answer to the problem may be to make the qualification standards tougher, but again, that hurts the everyday runner who works their tail off to qualify.

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  7. I wish everyone who got a BQ was able to run, what a horrid let down that must be.

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    1. Absolutely Abby. The letdown is intense and I have read quite a few blog posts of bloggers who missed the opportunity by a few seconds.

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  8. It's heartbreaking when you work so hard for something and then it just doesn't happen. But the key is to never give up!

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    1. Exactly Mindy. You just have to keep working for it and hopefully a BQ with more time to spare will happen for this group of runners.

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  9. My husband is really bummed. Not just qualifying, but actually running Boston as a qualifier has been his #1 running goal. He's qualified three times now and still hasn't gotten a spot. He ran a 3:02:45 and got squeaked out by 13 seconds (his standard is 3:05). It was even faster than his last qualifier—3:03:36—when he got squeaked out by 14 seconds. And those were both after Boston made the standard tougher. His first qualifier was at the easier 3:10 standard, when he ran a 3:09:13. Boston said "Jump," he said "How high?" But somehow he's never jumped high enough. The good news is he ages back into the 3:10 group in 2016, so if he can run another 3:02, 3:03, he'll have a nice big cushion. But he's physically and emotionally exhausted, and not sure he wants to put himself through it again. My heart goes out to him and all the squeakers!

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  10. It's crazy how people are qualifying and can't even run anymore because they have to come in 2-3 min faster than their BQ....maybe they need to adjust the BQ times. Part of me thinks they should get rid of half of the charity runners! I know that's probably a controversial subject!

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  11. I did tear up a little reading about those who just missed gaining entry by a few seconds :( Hoping they all get in next year. I wonder if the BAA will adjust the times (I really wish they fill up the qualifier spots before making the charity allotment - and perhaps to compensate for the difference in money raised up the charity minimum requirement).

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