Back in February, the Boston Athletic Association announced changes to the registration process and qualifying standards for the Boston Marathon. These changes were in response to this year's marathon selling out in 8 hours. When I ran 3:39:47 at the 2010 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red marathon, I thought that, with a little more work, I may be able to run a 3:20 and qualify when I turn 40. That all changed when the BAA rolled back the qualifying standards by 5 minutes. The qualifying standards for the 40 - 44 year old male age group went from 3:20 to 3:15. On top of that, the 59 second "cushion" was also eliminated. This means that if I ran a 3:15:01 I would miss qualifying by 1 measly second.
Most of us consider Boston the Super Bowl of marathoning and we work our tucheses off to qualify. I'm also well aware that if I REALLY wanted to run Boston, I could do so as a charity runner. NO THANK YOU. I'm not criticizing those that do run Boston for charity. I am in the camp that I need to earn my Boston bib. One thing I will not do, is obsess over it. I read lots of blogs and Twitter feeds about how their only purpose to racing and training is to qualify for Boston year after year. If they don't, their season is considered a failure. That is not why I train and race (I will answer that question before Chanukah is over). I will continue to work hard and if I'm fortunate to qualify, great. If not, it's just another race.