Tag Archives: LOCO Marathon

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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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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