Two interesting sections from the article are reproduced here.
Below is the history of changes in the qualifying standards over the years.
- April 19, 1897—OPEN-Fifteen men run the first Boston Marathon, open to any male 19 or older.
- 1970—4:00 To control crowds, the first qualifying standard is instituted. "This is not a jogging race," say organizers.
- 1971—3:30 BAA lowers the time restrict field to 1,000; 1,067 enter.
- 1972—3:30 Women, now allowed officially to enter, are kept to same time standards.
- 1977—3:00 New time is instituted for men 39 and under.
- 1980—2:50 Due to record number of entrants, standards tighten for men 19-39, 40+ (3:10), and women (3:20).
- 1981—3:20 New standard for men 50-59; men 60+ and women 40+ get 3:30.1984—3:50 As the ranks of "masters" women rise, new time set for women 60+. (Women 50-59 must run 3:40.)
- 1987—4:00 The BAA eases times for all women (from 3:30 for those under 40 to 4:00 for 60+) and men 18-39 (3:00).
- 1990—4:20 Five-year age groups (from 35 to 70+) are instituted with relaxed standards, including 4:20 for 70+.
- 2003—5:30 New time for women 80+. BAA softens standards for runners age 45 and over, and adds new age groups for those over 70.
And for runners like me hoping to qualify for Boston within the next few years here is a list of US marathons with % of runners qualifying for Boston along with dates for the next edition of the race. Personally, it is heartening to note that the top two races are in the North East region not too far from the area that I travel to a couple of times a year in my current job.
- Bay State, Lowell, Mass. (34.1%), Oct. 18
- Mohawk-Hudson River, Albany, N. Y. (33.4%), Oct. 11
- Inland Trail, Elyria, Oh. (29.7%), Nov. 1 Last Chance for Boston 2010
- Columbus, Oh. (27.8%), Feb. 14, 2010
- California International, Sacramento (26.6%) Dec. 6
- Tucson (26.2%), Dec. 13
- Newport, Ore. (24.8%), June 5, 2010
- Tallahassee, Fla. (24.6%), Feb. 7
- 2010 Run for the Red, Poconos, Penn. (24.5%),
- May 16, 2010 Wineglass
- Corning, N. Y. (24.2%), Oct. 4
Of course the Boston Marathon itself produces the highest number of (re-)qualifiers ie 37.5%.