In September of 2018, the Boston Athletics Association tightened their 2020 Boston Marathon qualification standards due to high demand and limited entry space. But according to the 2020 qualification rates thus far, that did little to reduce the number of runners achieving a BQ. 

Instagram: Krista Duchene

Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Chief Executive Officer said in the press release in September, “We have adjusted the qualifying standards for the 2020 Boston Marathon, as the number of marathoners who have submitted applications to run the Boston Marathon has increased significantly during the most recent two registration years. We forecast the interest in running Boston as continuing.” All age group qualifying standards are five minutes faster than previous year’s standards. 

RELATED: Boston Marathon tightens 2020 qualification times

Many runners expressed concerns about the difficulty of the required times, but since the bar was raised, runners have met the challenge. According to the 2020 qualification rates are within 0.2% of the 2019 rates.  

RELATED: What’s leading to Boston’s overwhelming popularity?

At the 2018 New York City Marathon, a higher number of runners qualified for Boston than in the 2017 race. While there are extraneous factors at play like weather and course conditions, it appears that runners are really getting after it.

Boston 2017.

Alan Brookes spoke with Canadian Running this fall and suggested that marathoning is on the rise. “Running is more inclusive and diverse than in the past, which has contributed to the growing popularity of marathon running. In the beginning there was a running community with a special language, and special signs, and if people were really nice we’d let them in.” Brookes says that the running community has changed. It’s no longer a small group of elite people, it’s inclusive of everybody.

Qualifying times for the 2020 race must be run on or after September 15, 2018. 

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