New England running fixture Ray Charbonneau compared the number of finishers and number of Boston qualifiers at ten North American marathons, run between April and July, for 2012 and 2013. The marathons included well-known races such as Grandmas, Vermont City, and San Francisco, as well as smaller events such as Glass City and Lake Wobegon.
In 2012, the ten marathons had a total of 27,790 finishers, with 3,246 of those finishers, or 11.7%, achieving Boston qualifiers. In 2013, the races had a total of 28,057 finishers, with 3,500, or 12.5%, running Boston qualifiers. Put another way, the total number of finishers increased by 1%, but the percentage who ran Boston qualifiers increased by 7.8%.
“What’s interesting is that while the number of finishers barely increased from one year to the next, the percentage of runners who qualified increased at a much higher rate,” Charbonneau writes. “A mathematician certainly wouldn’t call this data statistically significant, but it might indicate that those who ran summer marathons were more focused on hitting their [Boston qualifying] time.”
In the aftermath of the bombings at this year’s Boston Marathon, interest in running the 2014 edition spiked. As we reported in May, many late spring and summer marathons experienced a surge in registration after the bombings.
Runners who want to ensure their spot on the 2014 start line are wise to have sought their qualifiers this summer. The Boston Athletic Association has not yet said how large the 2014 field will be. Registration for time qualifiers will open on an as-yet-unspecified date in September, and will remain open until those spots are claimed. Last year, registration for time qualifiers remained open until early October, allowing runners to use early-fall 2012 races as 2013 Boston qualifiers. It’s possible that the time-qualifiers field will fill earlier this year.
Rachel C. , PhD
Research Scientist Consultant @ U-VIB
PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling
NREMT-P (National Registry of Paramedics)
– 911 Medic for over 15 years
– Scientist for over 7 years
– Runner for LIFE
source: Runner’s World By Scott Douglas