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Q: re: BQ standards circa 1994 (Read 243 times)

First, my apologies. I inadvertently tried to hijack the thread regarding 1st Marathon vs. PR Marathon times. I posed my own question there about Boston qualifying standards circa 1994. Nobody bit. But I’ve seen a few people discuss the significance of including seconds, and even fractions of a second, in their responses. So, I’ll try my question here.

For years, I’ve told people that I missed qualifying for Boston by exactly 1 minute in my first marathon attempt back in 1994 (it remains my PR to this day). I was a 29-year-old male at the time, and I ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 3:11:00. (They did not provide fractions of a second.)  I’ve recently learned that, as part of the changing BQ standards, they are eliminating the “59-second grace period.”  I was previously unaware of the grace period. My question is, did the 59-second grace period exist in 1994? If so, did I miss qualifying by 1 second rather than 1 minute?  (I really don’t know the answer and was hoping someone here did.)

In the weeks following that race, the BAA actually sent me 2 letters. A first letter telling me, “Congratulations, you qualified!”  Followed several days later by a letter retracting the statement in the earlier letter (and apologizing for their error), but telling me I came close and encouraging me to try again.

It’s really not a huge deal, mostly just curiosity now – I finally did qualify (18 years later, Twin Cities, October 2012) under much more forgiving geezer age-based standards. But the 1-second versus 1-minute distinction would make my 1994 story just a tad more interesting. Well, to me at least.

So, would a 3:10:59 have been a BQ for a 29-yr-old male in 1994?

Interval Junkie --Nobby

They send letters?!

Your interpretation of the 59-second grace period is correct.  I'm not sure what the qualifying time was for 1994/29yo.  But it would have been in the form: XX:XX:59.

2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

The qualifying times were the same from 1990 through 2003. The 59 second "rule" likely existed even.

The other unwritten rule that the BAA didn't publicize was that until fairly recently if you were very close to the qualifying time and just applied anyway and wrote a sob story about how you lost a minute at the start or because your shoe came untied or whatever, they would always let you in. So odds are your 3:11 could have gotten you in if you'd wanted it to.

Runners run.

If it were me, and I had those questions in my mind without definite answers, I know that my story would say that I missed the BQ by only 1 second, and them bastards retracted a letter a few days after saying I qualified.  I'm confident that would be my story each and every time.

(In other words, I don't think you want to know the definite answer.  Either way, it'll be a disappointing answer.)

2017 Goals:

#1: Do what I can do (200+ training days, 200+ aerobic hours).

#2: Race shape (1/2 marathon, 2 half Ironmans, marathon)

#3: Prepare for 2018

I think the take away is that no one really knows so the story can be whatever you want it to be at this point...I hope that you lost that 1 second that you needed to qualify fighting off ninjas that the BAA sent to try to keep you out of their race.

They send letters?!

Your interpretation of the 59-second grace period is correct.  I'm not sure what the qualifying time was for 1994/29yo.  But it would have been in the form: XX:XX:59.

XX:XX:59.99  - Boston only allowed two digits on the fraction of a second so don't think you could have gotten it straight-up with a XX:XX:59.999 time.  That would have required a sob story.

In the time you are talking about it was 3:10.59 accepted.   Now it is basically 3:09.99999999

5k  = 19.48 10/1/13

10k  = 45.28 4/16/13

Half Marathon = 1:38.53  Summer Sizzle 7/13/14

Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12  4:39.11

Solo O Marathon 06/02/13  3:52:10

Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34

northernman

Fight The Future

I have heard of several people who previously had gotten in with a minute and a half over the cutoff, without even having to come up with a story (sob or otherwise). I think they just sent in their application, and it was accepted. But no more, I think

Now it is basically 3:09.99999999

No. Now it is actually 3:05:00.

Runners run.

Thanks for the responses. It’s settled then – I missed it by a pico-second. And I should’ve just tried to enter anyway – plenty of sob stories to choose from. Shoulda, woulda, coulda,  … If only I had just done like this guy instead of using the porta-john at mile 5:

L Train

just applied anyway and wrote a sob story about how you lost a minute at the start or because your shoe came untied or whatever, they would always let you in.

How about if your garmin wouldn't charge?  Or if your just a dumbass that can't do math late in a race?

Or if your just a dumbass

I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

L Train

Phuckit.

How about if your garmin wouldn't charge?  Or if your just a dumbass that can't do math late in a race?

When I ran it (in 1994), I didn't know about Boston qualifying times, what they were, that I even had a chance, or that it might mean something to me years later. For that, I may be a dumbass. But I can do math (and English)!

L Train

SubDood, I was just poking fun at a different dumbass.

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