Tag Archives: Boston Marathon

Predicting the 2018 Boston Marathon Qualifying Cutoff

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In 2011 the Boston Athletic Association announced that the field would be limited for the 2012 Boston Marathon and that there would be a new rolling registration process based on time under BQ time. The new process meant that not all qualifiers who applied for entry would be accepted into the race.

That year the cutoff time turned out to be 1:14 and more than 3,000 applicants who had run under their qualifying time were denied entry. Ever since marathoners have been unsure of the exact time needed to guarantee entry into the Boston Marathon. Based on data from previous years, we’re going to predict what this year’s cutoff will be.

Year Cutoff Time # Qualifiers not Accepted
2018     ?               ?
2017 2:09          2,957
2016 2:28          4,562
2015 1:02          1,947
2014 1:38          2,976
2013 0:00                 –
2012 1:14          3,228

We’ve analyzed data from past years to determine any type of trends to better predict the cutoff time for the 2018 Boston Marathon. It’s a difficult task with only six years of data, changing field size limits and number of accepted runners, and external factors such the extremely hot 2012 Boston Marathon (which only had just over 2,300 BQs), the cancellation of the 2012 New York City Marathon, and the increased interest in running Boston after the 2013 bombings.

The primary data used for our models were:

  • Qualifiers from U.S.  and Canadian marathons – the majority of Boston entrants are from these two countries.
  • Since the Boston Marathon produces by far the most qualifying times, the number of qualifiers for each year was also factored in.
  • Number of applicants and the number denied entry each year of the current registration process.
  • Data was weighted toward the 2015-2017 qualifying periods since the field size limits were the same and there would likely be a more recent predictive trend.
Qualifying Year Cutoff Time Total # of Qualifying Times (approx.) Qualifiers at Boston (approx.)
2018 ? 51,000 8,000
2017 2:09 54,000 9,000
2016 2:28 59,000 12,750
2015 1:02 58,000 11,000

Based on this information and various models built from the data, our best prediction is that the cutoff time for the 2018 Boston Marathon will be 1:50.  Again, it is very difficult to predict based on the limited data and several unknown factors, but all indications are that it will be less than last year’s cutoff.

Interestingly, there was one simple data point that stood out. There was a very similar ratio between the number of applicants and the number of qualifying times for U.S./Canada marathons for Boston 2017 and 2016.  If this demand ratio is the same for 2018, the number of applicants should be reduced and would result in only about 1,100-1,800 qualifiers denied entry (depending on the number of entries accepted by the B.A.A.)*  This would likely drop the cutoff time significantly to around 1:00-1:10.

Good luck to everyone who may be on the bubble and we hope 100% of applicants are accepted this year.

 

*In 2017 the B.A.A accepted 23,214 qualified entries, 24,032 in 2016, and 23,546 in 2015.
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Best Marathons to Qualify for the Boston Marathon

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The Boston Marathon has long been the goal for runners. The tradition of the oldest U.S. marathon and the challenge to qualify leads thousands of marathoners each year on a quest for that coveted unicorn-decorated finisher’s medal.

In recent years, it has become more difficult to earn a spot on Main St. in Hopkinton for the start. For the 2013 marathon, the B.A.A. reduced the qualifing standards by five minutes for all age groups and the increased demand lately has led to some runners who have met their qualifying times to be turned away due to registration being full.*

With being accepted into the race not guaranteed, even if the qualifying times are met, it is important to choose a qualifying race that gives you the best chance to run your best. We have compiled a list of races that have demonstrated over the past few years (2014-2017) to be great Boston Marathon qualifying races.

Race Average BQ%
(2014-Aug. 2017)
 Average Number of BQs per Year 
Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (IL) 50.3% 102
Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon (MI) 45.8% 51
LOCO Marathon 32.4% 52
Erie Marathon at Presque Isle 31.6% 407
Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon 29.8% 170
Mountains 2 Beach Marathon 28.9%  520
Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon 27.1%  136
Baystate Marathon 25.3% 360
California International Marathon 22.2% 1,300
REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon 24.2%  332
Peak to Creek Marathon 24.2% 69
Tunnel Lite Marathon 32.4% 117
**REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon 39.1% 377
**Tunnel Vision Marathon 37.5% 107

* From 2014-2017, an average of 3,110 qualifiers who registered for the Boston Marathon  were not accepted
** Only 2 years of history

 

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The Best Marathons of 2016

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At FindMyMarathon.com we have compiled our list of the winners of the Best Marathons of 2016. Our lists are based on runner reviews, social media comments, and various input from the running community for races run in 2016. In the case of the Fastest Marathons and Best Marathon to Qualify for Boston categories, additional statistical data was used to determine the winners. In all of the categories, the races are listed in no particular order.

Several races appear in more than one category. The REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon shows up three times in our lists (Fastest Marathons, Best Marathons to Qualify for Boston, and Best New Marathons). In addition, the California International Marathon, Big Sur International Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Boston Marathon, Akron Marathon, and Mount Desert Island Marathon all appear in two categories.

Best Marathons of 2016

Best Marathons of 2016

Narrowing down the Best Marathons of 2016 from hundreds of races was very challenging. Unfortunately, we couldn’t include every great race (and there are a lot). Our list is based on reviews from our site as well as from social media and running community comments, and other reviews. The list is in no particular order.


Best Mid-Sized Marathons of 2016

Like with the Best Marathons list, narrowing down the Best Mid-sized Marathons of 2016 was also very challenging. Our list is based on reviews from our site as well as from social media and running community comments, and other reviews. The races on this list range from approximately 500 to 2,000 marathon finishers.


Fastest Marathons

Our Fastest Marathons list is based on our PR Score for each marathon in 2016. The PR Score is calculated using an algorithm based on the course elevation changes, weather during the race, and the race elevation. Read more about our Marathon PR and Course Scores and view the Scores for all marathons in 2016.


Best Marathons to Qualify for Boston

Our Best Marathons to Qualify for Boston list includes races with both a high percentage of runners achieving Boston Qualifying standards for their age group and also having a high number of runners qualifying. In addition, runner reviews and running community comments are also taken into condieration.

View the BQ percentage and number of BQers for all marathons on our Marathon Rankings list or check out all Boston Qualifying races on our BQ calendar.


Most Scenic Marathon

The Most Scenic Marathon is based on runner reviews, course descriptions, and social media and running community comments.


Best Organized Marathon

The Best Organized Marathon is based on runner reviews and social media and running community comments about the race organization.


Best New Marathon

The Best New Marathon is based on runner reviews, course descriptions, social media and running community comments.


Please feel free to post a Review for any marathon you’ve run.
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Boston Marathon Weather

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We’ll update this as the weekend progresses. Last updated Monday, 4:30pm

The times for each Wave at the Halfway and Finish are based on the following finish times:

Wave 1: 3:00
Wave 2: 3:20
Wave 3: 3:50
Wave 4: 4:30

Start in Hopkinton   Temp Humidity Wind
Wave 1 (10:00am) Sunny 67F 28% 6mph from the NNE (Headwind)
Wave 2 (10:25am) Sunny 69F 26% 6mph from the NNE (Headwind)
Wave 3 (10:50am) Sunny 71F 23% 8mph from the NNE (Headwind)
Wave 4 (11:15am) Sunny 69F 25% 10mph from the NNE (Headwind)
Halfway   Temp Humidity Wind
Wave 1 (11:30am) Sunny 68F 22% 7mph from the North (Crosswind)
Wave 2 (12:05pm) Sunny 70F 22% 9mph from the North (Crosswind)
Wave 3 (12:45pm) Sunny 70F 23% 8mph from the ENE (Headwind))
Wave 4 (1:30pm) Sunny 70F 23% 5mph from the SSW (Tailwind)
Finish in Boston   Temp Humidity Wind
Wave 1 (1:00pm) Scattered Clouds 57F 42% 17mph from the ENE (Headwind)
Wave 2 (1:45pm) Mostly Cloudy 53F 55% 14mph from the East (Headwind)
Wave 3 (2:40pm) Mostly Cloudy 52F 57% 10mph from the East (Headwind))
Wave 4 (3:45pm) Scattered Clouds 52F 57% 12mph from the EnE (Headwind)

 

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Best Boston Marathon Qualifiers

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In a previous article we detailed marathons in the United States and Canada with the most runners finishing under the Boston Marathon qualifying standard for their age group.  Predictably, the three largest marathons (New York City, Chicago, and Boston) topped this list in 2014, priBostonMarathonMedalmarily on the sheer number of runners competing in the races.  However, when you compare the New York City and Chicago Marathons to the more than 500 certified Boston qualifying races, the percentage of finishers qualifying in those two races is quite average.  New York City, for example, had 7.2% of the 50,564 finishers qualify and Chicago had 9.9% of runners qualify. Both of these percentages are less than the average of 10.2% of qualifiers among all runners who completed certified marathons in 2014.

The following table lists the marathons with the highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifying runners.  The list only includes marathons with at least 100 finishers achieving BQs.  Therefore, a few smaller races with a high percentage of qualifiers did not make the list such as the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon in Grand Rapids, MI (56.7%), LOCO Marathon (40.9%), and Two Rivers Marathon (36.0%).

A calendar of the marathons where runners can qualify for the Boston Marathon, as well as the percentage of qualifiers in these races can be found at FindMyMarathon.com.

Marathon Percentage of Boston Qualifiers Number of Qualifiers
Last Chance BQ Marathon (Geneva, IL) 62.5% 115
Boston Marathon 34.6% 11,046
Erie Marathon at Presque Isle 33.0% 316
Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon 29.1% 182
Sugarloaf Marathon 26.2% 132
Baystate Marathon 25.2% 385
Mountains 2 Beach Marathon 24.6% 399
Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope 23.6% 211
Mohawk-Hudson River Marathon 23.2% 208
Canyon City Marathon 22.4% 140
Via Marathon 22.2% 236
California International Marathon 22.0% 1,270

 

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Marathons with the Highest Number of Boston Marathon Qualifiers

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As the popularity of marathons has  increased over the years, so has the lure of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  In marathons held in the United States and Canada last year, over 57,000 runners ran under the Boston Marathon qualifying time for their age group, accounting for 10.2% of the finishers in certified marathons.

The following table lists the marathons with the most people running under Boston Marathon qualification times for their age groups in 2014.  The twelve marathons on the list account for nearly half of the qualifying times run.  In addition,  some of the largest races such as the New York City Marathon (3,641 qualifiers – 7.2%) and Marine Corps Marathon (728 qualifiers and 3.7%) may have a large number of qualifiers, but the percentage of qualifiers is well below the 10.2% average.

No surprise that the Boston Marathon leads the list with 11,046 qualifiers.  That number alone would rank as the 8th largest marathon in the U.S. and Canada in 2014.

 

Marathon Qualifiers BQ Percentage
Boston Marathon 11,046 34.6%
Chicago Marathon 4,039 9.9%
New York City Marathon 3,641 7.2%
Philadelphia Marathon 1,337 12.9%
California International Marathon 1,270 22.0%
Grandma’s Marathon 1,106 17.8%
Twin Cities Marathon 1,045 11.8%
St. George Marathon 975 16.8%
Ottawa Marathon 814 15.0%
Marine Corps Marathon 728 3.7%
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 643 16.2%
Columbus Marathon 612 11.2%
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The Wineglass Marathon: Winner of the 2015 Marathon March Madness

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After three weeks of head-to-head match ups and over 100,000 votes cast, the Wineglass Marathon emerged as the champion of the 2015 Marathon March Madness Tournament.

The Wineglass Marathon survived a last day push by the Grandma’s Marathon to win with 34% of the Final Four voting.

The results of the voting for the Final Four are below.

Final Four

Wineglass Marathon (34%)
Grandma’s Marathon (28%)
Big Sur International Marathon (21%)
Boston Marathon (17%)

Thanks to everyone who voted during the tournament.
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