So I spent some time Wednesday night trying to write a post on the new Boston Marathon qualifying procedure, but I was losing my nightly fight with Mr. Sandman earlier than normal so I wasn't able to string a few coherent thoughts together.
Instead of writing some really long post about it, though, I'm just going to hit some of the highlights.
In case you haven't heard, the Boston Marathon organizers will offer up registration not on a first-come first-served basis but rather will open it up to qualifiers who had the fastest qualifying times. Those who finished at least 20 minutes faster than their BQ time will get first dibs, followed by those who finished 10 minutes faster, 5 minutes faster and then everyone. Each group will get a few days to register and all registration will take place over the course of two weeks.
I didn't realize initially what was going on but then I read a lot of the fallout from runners via blogs, Twitter and Facebook. My conclusion? It's inequitable and just plain wrong.
* Double Qualifying: You have to qualify for Boston, but now you have to hope your qualifying time is fast enough. So in essence you have to qualify twice. The point of qualifying is to get somewhere. Once you qualify, then you should be on even footing with everyone else. Such is not the case.
* Knee-Jerk Reactions: This all is in response to last year's registration, which sold out in 8 hours. But the year before, it sold out in 65 days. Who is to say that last year was a fluke?
* Created Their Own Mess: Do you know why last year sold out in eight hours? Partly because marathon organizers made a huge push to get qualified Boston marathoners to register.
* Stomping Dreams: The Boston Marathon is the gold standard for marathons, an event only the strongest can compete in. However, part of the allure was that the average runner had a chance to compete in it. Now, the average runner will be weeded out and this marathon will turn into an elite event. It might as well become the Olympic trials.
*Stomping Dreams, Part II: Running has become really popular in the last several years, with record numbers of participants in marathons and races in general. Sadly, this is the Boston Marathon's response to that surge of popularity, to make their event an even more elite, harder-to-attain race.
* We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Race: There are plenty of other races to train for and enjoy. Boston is great and running Boston is a great accomplishment but that doesn't mean you are any less of a runner if you aren't fast enough to reach Boston. If you need a list of races, check this out. I know it's halfmarathons.net but a lot of those events have full marathons as well.