Thursday, September 27, 2018

Why I Didn't Register For Boston

Registration for the 2019 Boston Marathon has come and gone... and I didn't register...


I have a qualifying time (my 2017 Chicago Marathon and current PR), but decided to opt out of the upcoming race.

Don't get me wrong, Boston (both as a city and as a race) is AMAZEBALLS, but I have decided to sit this one out for a few reasons. If you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while you may know why, but for all of you newbies (WELCOME) or in case you've forgot, I thought I'd take a quick second to explain some of the reasons behind my choice.

Letting Others Experience Boston

First and foremost, the reason I am sitting this Boston Marathon out (and subsequent Boston Marathons) is because I don't want to take that place away from someone else. You see, in case you aren't familiar with the Boston Marathon, there are a couple things you need to know. Boston, to a large contingency of runners, is the grand daddy of them all (okay, okay, maybe that's the Rose Bowl, but still...). It is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. It is so sought after, in fact, they have qualifying times you must run to be able to register. And even if you hit those times, it doesn't guarantee you an entry to the race! Due to field size limitations, as well as a heightened interest in participation, a varying "cut-off" time (a time below the minimum qualifying standard for age and gender) is in place. For the 2019 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 4 minutes and 52 seconds or faster. (To clarify, I am a 34 year old female, so my BQ {Boston Qualifying} time is 3:35. Then you subtract the "extra" 4:42 ,which means I actually needed a 3:30:08 finish time to be able to register for the race. {Thankfully my Chicago time gave me a 9:58 buffer so had I wanted to register I would have been able to get in.}) Chasing that elusive BQ time can be extremely difficult, sometimes a lifelong goal. (For me, it didn't happen until my ninth marathon and after multiple training cycles and failed attempts.) I feel it would be a little selfish of me to take a spot from someone else who put in the hard work to get there, seeing as I had already experienced the magic that is Boston. (Hear me on this - I am NOT judging people who go multiple times - if they qualified, they deserve to be there - but, for me, I think of friends who have been right on the cusp of getting in and would feel terrible if they didn't get in because I potentially took 'their' spot.) And so we're all on the same page, just because I feel this way currently doesn't mean I don't reserve the right to change my mind. Maybe one day the hubby will qualify and I'll want to run with him, who knows. But, let's be real, my 2018 Boston Marathon was EPIC, MEMORABLE AWESOME & HARD TO TOP! 


If you know me, you know I am extremely frugal. Well, let me just say that Boston is a pricey city! Even with staying at an AirBnB outside of the city and splitting the cost with my parents, purchasing flights months in advance, etc the trip is a pretty penny! To be fair, because I knew last year would probably be the only Boston I would run, we made sure to "live it up", stayed an extra couple days and got in as much sight seeing as possible. If I was returning, I would cut the trip shorter and could probably dial back on some of the touristy things we did, but even still, the trip is NOT cheap.

Travel Time

The Boston Marathon is always held on Patriots' Day, which is the third Monday of April. Although some areas in the Northeast observe Patriots' Day, it is not a nationally celebrated holiday - that means race day is on a work day for the majority of folks. And then, unless you are leaving town right after the race, you probably will also have to take another day off on Tuesday to travel home. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a full time job that I have to request time off from, so this isn't a huge issue for me, but my hubby does so if I didn't want to go alone this is something to consider.

Other Goals

If you read my Tuesday's post, you know I've got a HUGE goal on the horizon... my first official ULTRA MARATHON! Yup, I drank the Kool-Aid, took the jump and registered for my first 50-Miler! Don't get me wrong, I am not giving up on running fast (shoot, I am still planning to attempt a new marathon PR in a few weeks at the Ventura Marathon), but I am excited to change my focus up a bit - swapping roads for trails - and see how far I can push this strong AF body of mine. ;)

So, with those reasons (and probably a few more), I didn't register for the 2019 Boston Marathon. Like I said, maybe I'll be back again in the future (whether to run, spectate or volunteer), but for now I'll spend Marathon Monday like the majority of folks - sitting in the the comforts of my own home, glued to my computer watching live streams and social media.

**PS They've updated the qualifying times for the 2020 Boston Marathon (which will hopefully alleviate the need for a buffer time, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how many people register next year) and made them 5 minutes faster.**


What is the next big goal you are chasing?


Peanut said...

Kudos for this decision but if you are ever back in Boston I'd love to see you.

Pricey is an understatement

Kristen said...

You are such a kind and thoughtful person. I had never thought of it this way. When I BQ, I now plan to do the same as you - run it once and then let others have a turn.