The article can be found here.
Here's basically what I got from the article. In 2012, (really, September 2011) if you ran 20 minutes or faster than your qualifying time, you get in first. If you ran 10 minutes or faster than the qualifying time, you get in three days later. And if you ran 5 minutes or faster than the qualifying time, you get in five days later. If the field has not filled after the first week of registration, it will open to everyone else who has qualified. BUT, the BAA will select the fastest runners from that pool to fill out the remaining slots. So if you were right on the cusp of qualifying, you may not make it in. Then in 2013, the rolling admission remains but all qualifying times get tougher by five minutes. So if you're qualifying time was 3:40 (ladies under 34 years old), the qualifying time will now be 3:35.
Let me pull out my soapbox for a minute....
I have no problem with redoing the qualifying times. I totally agree with that, at least for the ladies. Not that a 3:40 is soft, but a tougher time was needed. I do have a problem, though, with the rolling admission. If the BAA really wanted the fastest people then why not change the qualifying standards to 20 minutes quicker? So instead of a 3:40 or 3:35, why wouldn't it be a 3:20 or 3:15? I feel like the BAA is saying, it's nice that you qualified but you're still not fast enough. Even if you qualified, no matter what your time, there's no guarantee you'll get in even if you apply. Plus, it changes the landscape of all marathons. In my opinion, there will be no reason for pace teams anymore. The Columbus Marathon always has a HUGE group that runs with the 3:40 pace team. Mostly women, they're all trying to get to Boston. But if a 3:40 or 3:35 doesn't necessarily get you into Boston, why run with the pace group? What pace group would you choose if there's no real qualifying time? And, why run a challenging marathon even if you know you can qualify there, when you need to find a flat, potentially boring one, to get the fastest time you can?
For me, this adds fuel to the fire. I know I can qualify with a 3:40 or 3:35. I've done it before; I'll do it again. But for me, I really want to point my middle finger to the BAA and say "you want your 3:20? I'll give you the 3:20." Lucky or unfortunately, I get to qualify for 2012 and 2013 as a 34 year old. (In 2012 it's on April 16th--my birthday. In 2013 it's on April 15th--one day before my 35th birthday.)
So what are your thoughts on the Boston Marathon announcement today?
(You can ready my husband's thoughts here. He's really happy.)