There is a petition that has been signed by 20,000 people requesting that the 5,000 or so runners who didn't get to finish the Boston Marathon this year get guaranteed entry into next year's race. BAA has pointed out that doing so would require either reducing by 5,000 the number of people who can get in without having run in 2013 or expanding the number of entrants by 5,000 which they are loathe to do. I can see good arguments on each side. The petitioners argue that the participants were prevented from finishing by the Boston police when the race was canceled. The flip side is that races sometimes get canceled due to bad weather and you don't get a refund for that just as you wouldn't get a refund if a race is canceled while it is ongoing if it was canceled due to bad weather.
What say ye?
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
Ball of Fury
As someone who would LOVE to qualify for Boston in the next year or two, and as someone who will likely barely qualify if I am able to do so, I would gladly give up my spot in the race to one of those 5,000 runners who were unable to finish.
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
I would like to see the race expanded by 5000 to allow these folks to run. I would like for them to be in their own corral (or two) that starts 20 minutes after everyone else so that they can be the absolute centers of attention that day. Hopefully they would get new Boston memories to replace the ones from this year.
Of course I have never organized a race before so what do I know?
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
Adding 5,000 extra runners is ok with me, as long as they are not placed in my wave. My wave (the medium slow pokes) was dangerously crowded.
My advice would be to free up some spots for those who did not finish by eliminating all the clowns who tarnished the sanctity of the Boston Marathon by BQing while dancing with spectators, drinking beer between miles, kissing girls half their age, taking pics of Santa, etc...
PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013
Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013
4 years racing, 14 marathons, 14 BQs
All I know is that I am glad there are people much smarter than me that have to come up with a solution to this.
Even though they do not have to, they should give them guaranteed entry. I can see why others would be angry if they do not get in but making those that didn't finish re qualify is also not fair.
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Sometimes, you just have to toss out the conventional guidelines when unusual circumstances arise. Implement a daring decison unlike Bud Selig of MLB. Grant those 5,000 runners entry. However, they pay the standard registration fee for the race. Place them in the appropiate corrals based on their qualifying times which they used to enter in Boston 2013.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot
Dad of a real runner
Yeah, ^ this.
Wonder how many of the 5,000 were BQs vs. charity runners? Charities could allow repeats without the fundraising requirements and allow those runners in their count. BAA would not have to make any adjustments for that.
I would keep the race participant count the same, but shift 5,000 charity slots to qualifier slots.
I really think that they need to have a good 2014 under their belt before they can start thinking about expanded fields in the future. There will be a lot of pressure on them safety wise next year. A bigger field will strain them more. I want to run 2014, but with no family members at the finish. Other friends have said the same thing that it would be less pressure knowing that they wouldn't be there.
In our area we are still dealing with stories like the one on MSN below from today. The BAA will most likely make the right decision on folks who didn't finish. It wouldn't be a good PR move here to make any announcements just yet.
I do know a # of folks who didn't finish. They are more inclined to finish a marathon soon for some type of closure which I find interesting. Before the race there weren't any other races planned among this group. VT and RI offered free #'s to folks who didn't finish as have other areas which I think is real cool.
Boston? Hell, I'm still sore over how New York was handled mishandled.
MRT: This too shall pass
I can think of a couple of other races that were canceled due to weather. The Myrtle Beach Marathon was canceled one year due to snow and there have been a few recently canceled due to heat. If I'm not mistaken, Chicago stopped the race while it was in progress due to heat. To some extent, the risk of an unforeseen event happening and cancelling the race is one of the risks you take when you pay your non-refundable registration fee.
While I don't think a race cancelled due to weather warrants guaranteed entry... this was a freakin' terrorist attack. So I think they should get a guaranteed entry. I'd spread them out over the next three-five years to reduce how they affect the race/everyone else that wants to get it.
I also see the BA changing the standards for entry again. I bet that with all the new demand (both from people with BQ times and those who hadn't even thought of qualifying) the standards will tighten significantly. Not as tough as the Fukuoka Marathon (2:42)... but certainly tougher than they are now.
In the words of my late-coach : Just hang in there, relax... and at the end of a race anyone you see.....just pass them
While I could obviously be wrong, I don't see them tightening the entry standards. For 2012, you had to run something like BQ - 6:12 to get in. For 2013, registration for the 2013 marathon actually stayed open for several weeks and essentially everyone who had a BQ and applied got into the field. I would expect it to be difficult next year and possibly 2015 as people who couldn't get into the 2014 race apply in 2015 but I would expect demand to drop back to normal after that.
Yeah, but then you are causing charities to lose out on millions of dollars.
As it is, everyone who qualifies for Boston 2014 isn't going to get in. So I don't necessarily see an issue with guaranteed entry for those who didn't finish in 2013. BAA could also do something separate for those who didn't finish, I guess - have them start earlier or do it the day before...