1

Some musings on BQ qualifying standards (Read 870 times)

    In April, a friend, let's call him XY, ran a very respectable 3:24:30 at the Vancouver Marathon. Another friend, let's call her XX, ran the Ottawa Marathon this weekend in 3:43:26 - also quite respectable. The pickle: One gets a golden ticket to Hopkinton next year. The other? Nada. What I wonder is if people feel that this is reasonable? I understand the rationale behind different qualifying criteria for men and women, but I struggle a bit with the concept that one will run Boston and the other won't, especially given the difference in times. I expect that this might get a bit contentious. I am really not trying to stir the pot, rather just interested in hearing different opinions on the matter. For the record, I am not the XY referred to above so this is not about sour grapes...
      Being apart of the age group with the fastest time needed to qualify, I think the times they've set are appropriate. (for males, I don't understand females,their running times or any combination of the two) At the pace needed to qualify [7:15] you wouldn't be competitive at most shorter local races. Granted it's a whole different ballgame at the marathon distance but the qualifying time keeps the allure to Boston and makes qualifying that much more special. A 65 year old male has to run a 4 hr marathon, that's damn impressive.
        There is no doubt the qualifying standard is easier for women than for men. There is nearly a 16 % difference between the men's and women's standard where the average is more like 10% difference for the World Record, American Record and Boston Course record: ................men............women.......% diff World Best...2:04:55.......2:15:25......8.41% AR............2:05:38........2:19:25.....10.97% Boston CR...2:07:14........2:20:43......10.60% BQ Open.....3:10:59........3:40:59......15.71% I think this has more to do with the BAA trying to balance the field and there being fewer women who try to qualify--supply and demand basically. I have no problem with it, personally.

        Runners run.


        A Dance with Monkeys

          At the pace needed to qualify [7:15] you wouldn't be competitive at most shorter local races.
          I'm not sure I understand what this means. Shorter races and longer races are, by definition, raced at different paces.
            I'm not sure I understand what this means. Shorter races and longer races are, by definition, raced at different paces.
            I was trying to verbalize the picture of a sliding scale that's in my head. 7:15 marathon is impressive, have that person run some shorter races and they will most likely will be in the FOP with a shot of being competitive/chance of placing. Those who can run a 7:15 5k aren't going to turn out a Marathon near boston standards and that's the way it should be. I guess there is an element of "eliteness" with those that can go turn out that time. For me, boston's always been some sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It make take years to get there but when I do. Woot! => That i definitely agree with the qualifying standards for the males. They take work for the majority of males to get to and I like that it has that factor.
              For me, boston's always been some sort of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
              That's how I feel!
              2009: BQ?


              Prophet!

                boston schmoston....i want to qualify for this marathon
                  boston schmoston....i want to qualify for this marathon
                  You've already qualified for that one, boob.

                  Runners run.

                  vicentefrijole


                    A similar topic is the change in qualifying threshold for different age-groups: Should it really be easier for a 45 y/o to qualify (at 3:30) than for a 44 y/o (at 3:20)? That one in particular always struck me as a big leap... but I guess they have to set the thresholds somehow... maybe they should make it a little more gradual though? How about a formula that adjusts for each year of age? Anyways, I'm fine with it, though I will admit to feeling a twinge of envy when I a guy I train with (who runs a slower marathon than me) finally BQ'd... not because he dramatically changed his marathon time, but rather because he finally turned 45. But he's also run 20+ marathons, so I guess he deserves it!
                    vicentefrijole


                      Oh, and as for the original topic, I think it makes a lot of sense to have different qualifiers for men and women. IMO, women who run a 3:30 marathon are simply much better (smarter, more experienced) runners then men who run at that same pace... that's why when I'm trying to hold a nice even pace during a marathon, I'll often try to find a woman to hang with... chances are she's an experienced runner who won't make the rookie mistakes (uneven splits or a burn out at mile 20) that many of the male runners at that pace (myself included) may be likely to make. Big grin So it makes sense to award a woman runner for achieving that level of excellence... as for whether the actual thresholds that have been set are fair, I have no idea.... but they have to be set somewhere...


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        You've already qualified for that one, boob.
                        Are you saying you have to be a boob to run that one?
                          I'll often try to find a woman to hang with... chances are she's an experienced runner who won't make the rookie mistakes
                          We women ARE the smarter sex, in general Big grin
                          2009: BQ?