A few days ago, I was glancing through Tweets on my iPhone, until this one from Runner’s World caught my eye. You might have seen this Tweet, too. My immediate reaction to the post was along the line of “Someone is high on something,” but I thought I’d give it a read before I responded to that Tweet. So I opened the link.
Basically, Amby Burfoot posed this question to his readers, whether BAA “should provide a “heat-adjusted” time for runners who ran this year hoping to qualify for next year.” His argument that BAA should give this idea a serious consideration was, I assume, based on the fact high percentage of runners finished in qualifying times in the previous year’s Boston Marathon. For example, in each of past five years, more than 40% of Boston Marathon runners BQed for next year’s Boston Marathon. No other Boston qualifiers in US or Canada came close to Boston Marathon (data from marathonguide.com) as the top qualifier. However, this year, the scorching heat made it super challenging to BQ for most runners (still 2,705 ran BQ); therefore, he argued, BAA should give its best customers, ie. Boston runners, a break. RW’s data below compares this year’s race to previous years. 2011 provided one of the most favorable running weather, while 2012, 2004 and 1976 turned out to be very warm on the race day.
So, I read the whole article, but still think Burfoot was high on something. Why should BAA even give this a consideration? They’ve already given the deferment option to those who chose not to run Boston this year. That was bad enough. Those who run this year knew BQ was out of question, and who could we blame? No one. There was nothing we could do about the weather but we still chose to run in it. The same goes for those who are aiming for a BQ in all the other qualifiers but might end up running in as bad or even worse conditions. BAA would certainly not provide heat-adjusted times to those runners. Heat-adjusted times will make it worse for, and unfair to, those who are trying very hard to qualify for Boston next year. What do you think?