This morning I submitted my application for acceptance into the 2015 Boston Marathon.
As you might know, priority is given to the runners who qualified with the most time to spare: those who met the qualifying standard by age and gender by 20 minutes or more, then 10 minutes or more, then 5 minutes or more. The Boston Athletic Association posted an update this morning after registration closed for those fastest qualifiers last week:
Approximately 16,000 application submissions from the fastest among all qualifiers were submitted during the first week of registration (September 8-13). At the conclusion of the next phase of registration, the B.A.A. will accept up to 8,000 additional qualifiers.
So today the field opened up for 8,000 additional qualifiers from the group of runners like me who met the qualifying standard by age and gender by less than five minutes. However, these entries are not accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; priority is given among these entries for those who qualified by the largest margin (meaning that someone who qualified with 35 seconds to spare gets priority over me and my 34 precious seconds). Registration remains open for this group through Wednesday September 17 at 5 p.m. ET. (and then re-opens later to all qualifiers if spots still remain.)
Now the waiting begins. The email confirmation of my application stated that acceptances for this latest group of entries will be sent out in October, although I suspect we might hear sooner than that. I think chances are good that all of us “squeakers” will get accepted, but I’m not considering it a done deal by any means.
In the meantime I am taking time to celebrate my marathon finish time, 3:44:26, whether or not it is fast enough to get me accepted into the 2015 Boston Marathon. I realized that in my stupor in the days after the race I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that 3:44:26 is a personal record for me by 8 minutes and 16 seconds! That is pretty significant, even if it only boils down to 18-19 seconds faster per mile over the 26.2 miles. For someone like me who did not start running until she was staring down 40 years of age, and was 4 days shy of 43 years of age on race day, it’s a big deal to run 26.2 miles at 7 miles per hour. Even now, after having gone the distance at that pace, I can hardly even imagine setting the treadmill for 7.0 and running for 3 hours and 44 minutes and change. You know, the other day I was talking to a friend who is training for his first full marathon coming up this October in Long Beach. He said he finally understood the appeal of marathon running: the amazing sense of satisfaction you can achieve by challenging yourself to do something you couldn’t have done a year ago or even a month ago. It’s definitely worth celebrating.