Tips on registering and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

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Boston marathon has become one of the world’s most sought-after races and many hopeful athletes are accepted and declined annually. With all those trainers screeching to the registration deadline in hopes of running the next marathon, you may wonder what your odds are. Well, if you read this article, follow the steps and begin preparations early, there’s no reason why you can’t be there when the horn sounds.

An seal honoring 50 years of women running in the Boston Marathon covers the street in front of the start line of the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18, 2016, in Hopkinton, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Since its inception in 1897, the Boston Marathon has become one of the most talked about and most popular running events. Managed by the B.A.A (Boston Athletic Association), there are various requirements a runner must meet if they wish to run.

If you’re ready for the marathon of a lifetime, this article will provide you with some reliable and helpful information. You will discover how to register for the Boston Marathon and what qualifying standards professional runners must meet to do so.

With over half a million viewers coming to watch each marathon, you can bet spaces are limited. Moreover, if you’re planning to run and join the 30,000 or more that register every year then you need to plan ahead.

What it takes to qualify for the Boston Marathon

The elite men start the 117th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

In order to qualify, according to the B.A.A website, runners must meet the time requirements for each age and gender group. These standards have not changed for years and remain the same for 2018’s marathon.

This table shows the times you must meet within your age and gender group…

Age Women Men
18-34 3hrs 35min 00sec 3hrs 05min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 40min 00sec 3hrs 10min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 45min 00sec 3hrs 15min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 55min 00sec 3hrs 25min 00sec
50-54 4hrs 00min 00sec 3hrs 30min 00sec
55-59 4hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
60-64 4hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
75-79 5hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
80+ 5hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec

Please note that when you meet the following requirements, this does not mean you are secured a place in the marathon. Instead, it means you can register. So after you have run your full-distance marathon and have received the official net time, you can submit this to the website and enter.

The next Boston Marathon date will be April 16th 2018 and your results will be based on the age you are on that date. It’s only once the qualifying time has been checked by one of the B.A.A staff that the entrant will possibly be offered a place.

So, who gets through? The first athletes to be accepted will be those with the fastest times for their age groups. This means you will want to start training hard well in advance as to enter for the 2018 Boston Marathon, runners will have to complete a marathon on or after Saturday 17th of September 2016.

No doubt you’ve already began training which means your next step? Booking your first or next full marathon!

Registering for the Boston Marathon

Registration has yet to open for 2018 and the dates will be confirmed. Therefore, it’s best to keep an eye on the B.A.A’s website or sign up to their mailing list for updates. Once the registration opens, there will be a ‘rolling admission’ where runners with the fastest times will get through first. The date you can register will match the time you’ve beaten your specific qualifying standard.

Tips for qualifying

The Boston Marathon is definitely high-up on the list of must-run-marathons for several athletes. But it comes at a price! Training harder than before to push yourself and reach your personal best is essential to gaining a place.

Next we’ll outline some top ways you can prepare your body and begin the best training regime that will get you to Boston, running the hilly terrains.


Tips on preparing for your registration

Just to make sure you’re in shape and doing all the right things to get you in gear for Boston registration, we’ve listed some top tips for optimal training.

  1. You’ll need a great qualifier

The race that gets you into the race is what you want to focus on. If you haven’t already, start searching for the best marathon possible to make sure you qualify. Not all marathons will be accepted however so it’s best to contact the B.A.A officials to point you in the right direction.

  1. Choose a race course your used to

It’s important to choose your initial marathon carefully as you want to be ready for the climate, terrain, weather conditions and race course of Boston Marathon.

  1. Keep your training varied

You’ll find those who rank highest in marathons aren’t just running. They are doing several total-body workouts during the week too. You need to make sure every muscle is as strong as possible which means varying exercises is a must. Core, weights and weight-free strength training are things you should be incorporating into your weekly routine.

Overall, the entire process of becoming the next 2018 Boston Marathon qualifier may take a little longer than you thought. However, the journey is worth it as the prestigious race gives back more than what it asks for.

Melissa Hudson

Melissa Hudson