Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times | 2023 Tips

Are you seeking out more information about the Boston Marathon qualifying times? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here.

‍Are you trying to run the Boston Marathon? And do you need to know about the Boston Marathon Qualifying Times? I’m guessing the answer is Yes since you’re here. If you want to run the Boston Marathon, you’ll need to qualify first. This can be a challenge for many runners, especially first-timers who are just dipping their toes into the challenging and rewarding world of long-distance running. To register for the event, you must meet certain standards in either time or pace. Here is everything you need to know about qualifying for the Boston Marathon & more about Boston Marathon Qualifying Times

Is it Hard to Qualify for the Boston Marathon?

The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious running events in the world. Every year, runners from all over the globe come to Boston to test their mettle against the challenging course. But with only a limited number of spots available, getting into the Boston Marathon is no easy feat.

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, runners must first meet a few basic requirements. They must be 18 years of age or older on race day, and they must have run a certified marathon within the past 18 months. Additionally, runners must have a qualifying time that meets or exceeds the standards set by the Boston Athletic Association.

For most runners, the hardest part of qualifying for the Boston Marathon is getting a qualifying time. The standards are set quite high, and only a small percentage of runners are able to meet them. But for those who do qualify, the road ahead gets a bit easier, literally & figuratively.

What is a Boston Marathon Qualifying Time (BMQ)?

The Boston Marathon qualification time is simply the time you need to run to participate in the event. There are different time standards based on your gender and age:

Men: Sub 3 hours and 15 minutes

Women: Sub 4 hours and 30 minutes

These are the fastest qualifying times for the Boston Marathon, but there are also special standards for people over the age of 80, as well as for handcycle participants and Push Rim Wheelchair athletes.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRIVATE, MEMBERSHIP COMMUNITY

Can You Run the Boston Marathon without Qualifying?

Every year, runners from all over the globe come to Boston to test their endurance and compete against the best of the best.

But can you just show up and run the Boston Marathon without qualifying? The answer is no. So, to compete in the Boston Marathon, you must first meet the qualifying standards.

 These standards are in place to ensure that only the most experienced and capable runners are competing in the event. You are required to run a qualifying marathon in a time that is identifiable as fast enough for the elite race in Boston.

So, if you want to run the Boston Marathon, start training, and aim to qualify for the event. It'll be a long and difficult journey, but it'll be worth it when you cross that finish line.

How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon with a Time

If you want to run the Boston Marathon with a time, you’ll need to run a qualifying race. A qualifying race is any 26.2-mile event that is certified by USA Track and Field (USATF), and that takes place between September 1 and February 11 of the current year. To find your qualifying time, you need to start with your current 10K time, then add 10% to the total.

If you run a half marathon, you simply need to add 10%. For example: If you can run a 10K in one hour and 20 minutes, you’ll need to run a half marathon in 2 hours and 40 minutes: 1) 10K + 10% = 10.1K; 2) 10.1K + 10% = 11K; 3) 11K + 10% = 11.9K, or 2 hours and 40 minutes.

The BAA does not allow runners to qualify on a treadmill or indoor race, so you must do most of your qualifying race outside. Be aware that weather conditions may affect your qualifying time, so always be prepared for the unexpected.

What Pace is a 3.5-Hour Marathon?

A marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers). However, many runners choose to run slightly shorter or longer distances, such as a 3.5-hour marathon.

So, what pace does a 3.5-hour marathon correspond to? Well, it depends on the runner's individual speed. However, on average, a 3.5-hour marathon corresponds to a pace of approximately 8 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. That is also considered an 8:00 pace.

Of course, this is just an estimate – every runner is different and will have their own individual pace. But if you're training for a 3.5-hour marathon, this is a good place to start.

How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon with a Pace

If you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a pace, you’ll need to run a 10K at a certain pace. There are five qualifying paces for the Boston Marathon:

  1. Sub 1:10 for men and women: This is the qualifying pace for people who aspire to be among the top finishers in the event.
  2. Sub 1:15 for men and women: This is the qualifying pace for runners who are focused on finishing within the cutoff time.
  3. Under 1:20 for men and women: This is the qualifying pace for the Boston Marathon if you have not run a full marathon before.
  4. Sub 1:25 for men and women: This is the qualifying pace for walkers.
  5. Sub 1:30 for men and women: This is the qualifying pace for handcycle participants.
CHECK OUT OUR RUNNING COURSES

Tips for Running a Qualifying Time

  • You should be physically and mentally prepared for training for the Boston Marathon. So, plan ahead for your race to make sure it counts as your qualifying event.
  • Stay on top of injuries. If you have an injury that might affect your ability to run a qualifying event, make sure to get it treated so you don’t end up injuring yourself further.
  • Don’t start training too late. If you want to qualify with a time, start training early enough to make sure you have enough time to build up your endurance.

Find a race that is certified by USATF and take note of the pace for your qualifying event. Remember to account for any hills or weather conditions that might affect your pace.  Stay on top of injuries.

If you have an injury that might affect your ability to run at a certain pace, make sure to get it treated so you don’t end up injuring yourself further. Don’t start training too late. If you want to qualify with a pace, start training early enough to make sure you have enough time to build up your endurance.

What is the Hardest Part of the Boston Marathon?

For many runners, the Boston Marathon is the ultimate test of their endurance and strength. The race is 26.2 miles long and winds through the city of Boston, Massachusetts. While the Boston Marathon is one of the most popular marathon races in the world, it is also one of the most challenging.

So, what is the hardest part of the Boston Marathon? For some runners, it is hilly terrain. The course has several hills, including the infamous Heartbreak Hill, which can be tough to run up. For others, it is the heat. The race is typically held in the spring when the weather can be warm and humid. For many other runners, it is the last 10 miles of the race. This is where the hills really start to take their toll and where runners often hit the wall. The last 10 miles can be a real test of mental and physical endurance, and it's not for the faint of heart.

And for some, it is a mental challenge. The Boston Marathon is a long and difficult race, and it takes a lot of mental toughness to make it to the finish line. The course is notoriously hilly, and the weather can be unpredictable, making it a tough race to complete too. So, if you're thinking of running the Boston Marathon, be prepared for a tough race. But remember, the feeling of crossing the finish line is always worth the effort.

Is Boston Marathon Harder than NYC?

The Boston Marathon is widely considered to be one of the most difficult marathon courses in the world. The hilly terrain and New England weather make it a challenge for even the most experienced runners. In contrast, the New York City Marathon is known for being a flatter and more forgiving course. So which marathon is harder?

There is no easy answer to this question. runners of both races will face their own unique set of challenges. Some runners may find the hills of Boston to be more difficult, while others may find the heat and humidity of New York to be more challenging. Ultimately, it is up to the individual runner to decide which marathon is harder for them.

But if you only consider numbers, Boston Marathon deems harder. For a 55–59M, New York's qualifying time is 3:23, while Boston's time is 3:35.

Additional Resources

BAA Qualifier: This is a free mobile app that helps you track your progress toward a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Standards: This is the official page that has the latest information on qualifying times. You can also find information on road races in your area that help you meet the qualifying standards.

Closing Thoughts

Did you know that to qualify to run the Boston Marathon, you have to meet a certain time standard in another race? It’s true. Every year thousands of runners try—and fail—to meet one of the most challenging qualifying standards among the majors.

The road to a BQ (Boston Qualifier) can be long and arduous. It often takes multiple attempts and lots of research before even toeing the line on race day. Here in this article, we have put down a comprehensive breakdown of all things related to the meeting that magical time standard known as your “Qualifying Time” or “Qualification Standard” for the Boston Marathon.

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I aim to make at least 2 new training or racing videos there each week. More importantly, to help runners such as yourself earn a Boston marathon qualifying time.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TRAINING PLANS