The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and it is rich with tradition and history. Its rigorous qualifying standards makes it one of the most elite races out there, and because of this, running the Boston Marathon has made it on the bucket lists of just about every marathoner I know.
Note I said “just about” every marathoner. I am a marathoner. (Though I still can’t believe I can say that!) However, running Boston is not on my list. Let me tell you why.
I am slow. This is no secret.
I keep a pretty solid 11:30 mile average for half marathons.
I struggle to reach a 3o minute 5K.
I had a 13-minute pace at the Disney Marathon. (Although this was a result of stopping for several character photos along the way, so my adjusted time was more in line with my half marathon pace.)
When I run along the lake path, runners with strollers full of kids and leashes with 3 dogs will whizz pass me.
In fact, the only people I ever pass on the path are the walkers.
Keeping these things in mind, take a look at the Boston Qualifying times:
For a woman my age, I would have to run a marathon in 3 hours and 4o minutes. That is about an 8:20 mile pace. I can’t even run that fast for 3 miles, let alone 26.2!
The only thing that gives people like me any hope is that the qualifying times get easier as you get older. So, you know, if I’m 80 years old, still running at the same pace as I did in my 30s, and run the Disney Marathon without any bathroom or photo stops, maybe I can qualify 50 years from now.
That is, if the standards don’t get even harder by then.
They say the hardest part of any marathon is getting to the start line. After training for my marathon, I wholeheartedly agree with that. When it comes to Boston, getting there is an even more amazing feat.
Even the person who is dead last to cross the finish line on Monday is a better runner than I will ever be.
So, if you are running Boston this week, no matter how you fare, you are a hero to me!
Good luck, everyone!