Boston Marathon Changes Qualifying Times, Prospective Runners Now Pressed for Faster Qualifying Times

The Boston Athletic Association, the governing body of the annual Boston Marathon, upped the ante for prospective runners on Monday.

Starting with next April's race, those interested in qualifying for the marathon now will be faced with needing faster qualifying times based on age and gender group. For instance, men between the ages of 40 and 44 must finish with a qualifying time below 3 hours and 20 minutes in order to be eligible for the 2012 race. Qualifying for the 2013 race will be even more stringent with the cutoff time being 3 hours and 15 minutes. Each age and gender group will see a five minute decrease in the qualifying times from 2012 to 2013.

In addition, the registration process will be tiered according to how fast the runner broke the minimum qualifying times. Beginning at 10 a.m. Monday morning, runners who beat the minimum qualifying times by 20 minutes or more were eligible to register first online. If space remains, any runners who bested the qualifying times by 10 minutes or more will be able to register starting Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. If space still remains after that, any runners who best the qualifying time by five minutes or more are eligible to register starting on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m.

The new registering process is designed to weed out slower runners and include only elite runners as a response to overcrowding during recent races. For more information or to register for the race visit baa.org.

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