Boston Marathon registration started this past Monday, Sept 12. Unlike last year, the registration is still open as of Friday, Sept 16, but the new registration process is keeping some hopeful runners on their toes.
As many people know, Boston Athletic Association (BAA) introduced a big change to 2012 registration process, because the 2011 registration had closed in whopping eight hours. In order to assure qualifiers with fast times to register successfully, BAA let those with qualifying times faster than 20 minutes (BQ-20) register on Monday. A couple of nail-biting days later, it opened the registration to those with qualifying times faster than 10 minutes (BQ-10) on Wednesday. This morning, it opened the registration to BQ-5, and it appears that the registration is still open with approximately 15,000 qualifiers submitting their applications. Though the 2012 field size has not been announced yet, BAA could close the registration at any time if it reaches the number deemed appropriate, even before the next Monday when the registration will be open to all other qualifiers.
I was BQ-10 and I nervously waited for Wednesday 7 am to arrive. I promptly submitted my application at 7 am and found my submission number was 2008031, which most people think there were 8030 application had been submitted before me. I thought it was rather low. And today, I received a confirmation email from BAA, which said my entry has been accepted. Phew! Because the acceptance is based on the qualifying times and not first come first serve, those BQ-10 applicants had to wait until Friday, so that BAA can sort applications by their time and pick the fast ones. Because the size of BQ-20 and BQ-10 was not very big, it really did not matter, but I think it would be interesting to see how the rest will pan out.
While I was waiting for my confirmation, I looked at some forums and Facebook, and they are filled with proud postings about receiving entry confirmation and nervous posting about waiting for their confirmation or their turn to register. Though number of those postings are not huge, this definitely shows how popular Boston Marathon is. No other marathons cause this degree of chaos.
Now that I am in, I need to make sure I will be healthy and be able to compete. It would be great to achieve BQ-20 in the marathon, but BAA is raising the bar by five minutes. So, I would have to run in 3:05.00 to get BQ-20! That’s a huge challenge, I must say. But it would be a great achievement and a step closer to my ultimate target of sub 3:00 marathon if I could get there. Definitely, it is a motivation to go out there and run hard!