What Does It Take to Gain an Entry Into the 2014 Boston Marathon?

Dating myself a bit with this photo....ran the 100th Boston Marathon quite some time ago :)The 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings and subsequent pursuit of the culprits this past week overshadowed the race itself. Approximately 23,000 people were signed up for the 2013 race but because of the bombings, thousands of runners were unable to complete it.

On Thursday, Boston Marathon organizers indicated via Facebook that they will "address the issue of those who could not cross the finish line on Boylston Street due to the tragic events which occurred near the finish line," which tells me that perhaps they may offer up entries to the 2014 race to these people. But we shall see.

All of this tragedy and publicity will make 2014 quite an interesting year for the Boston Marathon, which is run on the 3rd Monday of April, Patriots' Day, each year. In 2014 that date will be April 21st.

Will people steer clear or will demand skyrocket in support of those who lost lives and limbs last Monday? Well my opinion is, we're talking Americans....I think everyone and their mother will be trying to get into the 2014 Boston Marathon.  So what will it take to gain an entry into the 2014 race? Let's review the qualifying standards for 2014:

  • Qualifying times must be run on or after 9/22/12.
  • Runners must be 18 or older on race day.
  • By 7/1/13, marathon organizers will announce specific  registration dates in September 2013.
  • Organizers allow faster runners, those who finished well under the qualifying standards shown below, to register first.
  • 2014 qualifying times are as follows:
    • Ages 18-34: Men 3:05; Women 3:35
    • Ages 35-39: Men 3:10; Women 3:40
    • Ages 40-44: Men 3:15; Women 3:45
    • Ages 45-49: Men 3:25; Women 3:55
    • Ages 50-54: Men 3:30; Women 4:00
    • Ages 55-59: Men 3:40; Women 4:10
    • Ages 60-64: Men 3:55; Women 4:25
    • Ages 65-69: Men 4:10; Women 4:40
    • Ages 70-74: Men 4:25; Women 4:55
    • Ages 75-79: Men 4:40; Women 5:10
    • Ages 80+:    Men 4:55; Women 5:25

So as you can see, it takes some pretty solid marathon times to qualify for the Boston Marathon. If you can hold out until age 80 and are female, a 12 minute, 24 seconds per mile pace will get you in.

Do note that the times shown above are the maximum qualifying times on USA Track & Field certified courses. A measly 1 second slower than 3 hours, 15 minutes for a 44 year old male will not be good enough, so keep that in mind.

Another way of gaining an entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon is to contact an official Boston Marathon charity and raise money for that organization. Several thousand entries a year are given to these organizations. But I suspect the demand for these entries is very high by non-qualifying runners, so act as soon as you can. Details at this link on the Boston Athletic Association website.

Looking to run a local marathon? Check out this link here on Conejo Valley Guide for local races in Ventura County and adjacent areas ranging from 5Ks to marathon and beyond.

A decade ago, there were zero local Ventura County area full marathons, but times have changed!  Now we have the Malibu Marathon (Camarillo to Zuma Beach) and Santa Barbara Marathon in the fall, the Camarillo Marathon in January, Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (Ojai to Ventura) in May and this September the Inaugural Ventura Marathon (Ventura Pier to Hueneme Pier and back) on September 8th. Good luck! And check out my marathon training blog at www.conejovalleyguide.com/marathon-training-blog.