I love meeting new runners, which is one of the reasons why I love run groups. Everyone has a great story and you can always talk endlessly about running without looking like a total weirdo. But one comment at last week’s group run in SF caught me off-guard.
Woman: Are you training for something.
Me: Yes! Boston!
Woman: Great! I’ve qualified four times but have never run it before.
Me: Oh man, you totally should.
Woman: Well, I think the qualifications are too easy.
Me: Um, really? Well, I’m ok with them because if they were any faster than what they are now, I wouldn’t have qualified.
To be completely honest, it was a WTF moment for me. Here I am, obviously excited that I am going to run Boston, and after I say that, she says the qualification are too easy? I may not be an Olympic athlete, but I worked my butt off and was proud of that moment! I proceeded to smile and be on my merry way.
Then today, I stumbled upon an article that talks about the changes the BAA will make in order to qualify and register for the Boston Marathon. Four-time Boston marathon champ Bill Rodgers stated, “You’ve got to be good with the computer these days…I’m not. If I was a qualifier, I would lose out.’’ Whoa there! Yes they need to work on their registration process, but is that really the issue?
Race director Dave McGillivray is saying that the race will make some “necessary adjustments…which apparently include adjusting qualifying standards, field size, registration start date and the window during which runners can qualify.”
I do agree that something has to change, especially the online registration process. I remember frantically waking up and logging on at the exact hour to register. When it kept failing me hours and hours later, I got nervous. Really nervous. But thankfully, I got in. I can’t begin to imagine the feeling everyone must have had to work so hard to qualify and then not log on at that exact moment. Registration filled up in a little more than eight hours.
The article states that a lottery most likely will not be a solution, but I’d like to turn the question over to you?
Do you think the qualifications are too easy?
How do you think we can help the registration process?
What should I have said to the woman?