Boston Marathon qualifying standards allow runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon by running a previous marathon with a stipulated result within a stipulated calendar time frame.

The standards have been in place since 1970 for male runners and 1972 for female runners. The standards are published by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), in advance of the qualifying window.

To "qualify" for the Boston Marathon runners need to have run a marathon at a time given for their gender and age (as shown in the tables below). Before the 2012 marathon, qualification allowed runners to register and run the race. Since 2012, "qualifiers" who do not meet additional cutoff criteria (see below) are not eligible to enter the marathon by virtue of time qualification.

Men’s qualifying standards by year

18–34* 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–69 70–74 75–79 80+ Cutoff (m:ss) Reference
2021 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:20 3:25 3:35 3:50 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 7:47 [1]
2020 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:20 3:25 3:35 3:50 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 1:39 [2]
2019 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 4:52 [2]
2018 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 3:23 [3]
2017 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 2:09 [4]
2016 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 2:28 [5]
2015 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 1:02 [5]
2014 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 1:38 [5]
2013 3:05 3:10 3:15 3:25 3:30 3:40 3:55 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 0:00 [5]
2012 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:30 3:35 3:45 4:00 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 1:14 [5][6]
2003–2011 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:30 3:35 3:45 4:00 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 [5][7][6]
1990–2002 3:10 3:15 3:20 3:25 3:30 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:50 [5][7]
1987–1989 3:00 3:10 3:20 3:30 [5][7]
1984–1986 2:50 3:10 3:20 3:30 [5][7]
1981–1983 2:50 3:10 3:20 [5][7]
1980 2:50 3:10 [5][7]
1977–1979 3:00 3:30 [5][7]
1972–1976 3:30 (or 20 kilometers in 1:25, 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [5][8]
1971 3:30 (or 10 miles in 1:05; 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [5][8]
1970 4:00 [5][8]

Women’s qualifying standards by year

18–34* 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–69 70–74 75–79 80+ Cutoff (m:ss) Reference
2021 3:30 3:35 3:40 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 5:05 5:20 7:47 [1]
2020 3:30 3:35 3:40 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:20 4:35 4:50 5:05 5:20 1:39 [2]
2019 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 4:52 [2]
2018 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 3:23 [3]
2017 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 2:09 [4]
2016 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 2:28 [5]
2015 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 1:02 [5]
2014 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 1:38 [5]
2013 3:35 3:40 3:45 3:55 4:00 4:10 4:25 4:40 4:55 5:10 5:25 0:00 [5]
2012 3:40 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:05 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 5:15 5:30 1:14 [5][6]
2003–2011 3:40 3:45 3:50 4:00 4:05 4:15 4:30 4:45 5:00 5:15 5:30 [5][7][6]
1990–2002 3:40 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:05 4:10 4:15 4:20 [5][7]
1987–1989 3:30 3:40 3:50 4:00 [5][7]
1984–1986 3:20 3:30 3:40 3:50 [5][7]
1981–1983 3:20 3:30 [5][7]
1980 3:20 [5][7]
1977–1979 3:30 [5][7]
1972–1976 3:30 (or 20 kilometers in 1:25, 15 miles in 1:45, or 20 miles in 2:30) [5][8]

Cutoff

Beginning with the registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon, a cutoff beneath the qualifying times was instituted. The cutoff time is given in minutes and seconds and is subtracted from the age group qualifying times to determine who will be allowed entry and who will not. For example, for the 2012 marathon, when registration closed and the 1:14 cutoff was announced, a runner who "qualified" with a time faster than 3:10:00, actually needed a time of 3:08:46 to earn entry into the marathon.

History of Boston Marathon cutoff times
Year 18-34 men's base Cutoff Delta from 1990-2012
2021 3:00 7:47 17:47
2020 3:00 1:39 11:39
2019 3:05 4:52 9:52
2018 3:05 3:23 8:23
2017 3:05 2:09 7:09
2016 3:05 2:28 7:28
2015 3:05 1:02 6:02
2014 3:05 1:38 6:38
2013 3:05 0:00 5:00
2012 3:10 1:14 1:14

References

  1. ^ a b "125th Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances Announced".
  2. ^ a b c d "2019 Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances".
  3. ^ a b "2018 Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances".
  4. ^ a b "2017 Boston Marathon Cut-Off Is 2:09 Under Qualifying Standards".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "History of Qualifying Times". www.baa.org. Archived from the original on October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Qualifying for Boston Marathon made tougher after early sellout". USA Today. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "How Boston's Qualifying Times Inspire Excellence". www.runnersworld.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d "All in the Timing". www.runnersworld.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015.