It’s the first day of registration for the 122nd Boston Marathon, scheduled for April 16, 2018. Starting at 10 a.m. EST today, Sept. 11, 2017, runners who exceeded their qualifying time by 20 minutes can sign up. Those who ran at least 10 minutes faster than their qualifying time can begin registering on Wednesday. If spaces remain, those who beat their time by 5 minutes can register on Friday, and on Saturday registration will open to all who hit their time.
The qualifying window has been open for nearly an entire year, and seven months until Marathon Monday means there is a lot of time for life to get in the way of some runners’ big Boston goals. Imagine, for instance, that you were to find out between now and then that you were pregnant.
Like many races, Boston does not offer deferrals to runners for any reason, including pregnancy. If you register and find out the next day that you’re pregnant? You’re SOL, sister. Found out two weeks after your qualifier that you’re due mid-October? You can roll the dice and hope you’re ready in April, or skip 2018 and try to qualify again later.
Sure, we all remember that lady who ran the Chicago Marathon and gave birth hours later, but that is the exception, not the rule. If you’ve been trying to qualify for years, which is not uncommon, a pregnancy could put off your chances of being fit enough to qualify again for months or even years.
The BAA might think its one-size-fits-all policy is fair — but since only 45% of last year’s field can possibly become pregnant, is that actually the case? After all, if a man gets a woman pregnant, his body will not be affected, nor would his ability to race come April 16.
Tell us what you think:
- Is the BAA’s no deferrals for any reason policy fair?
- Should women be able to defer their Boston marathon if they find out they’re pregnant after registering? What about women who qualify and find out they’re pregnant before registration?