So the Boston Marathon has changed its qualifying standards once again. A few years ago, the open women’s time (ages 35 and under) went from 3:40 to 3:35. Now, as of the 2020 Boston Marathon, that standard is moving down to 3:30. And it’s not just young women: The B.A.A. tightened qualifying standards across the board, all ages and genders. We want to know what you think: Read more >>
Hey, runner man! The new Boston Marathon qualifying standards are out, and yep, the little ladies still have to run way less fast than you do in order to get in. Are you sick and tired of women always having it easier? Have you joked about running a marathon in drag just to qualify for Boston the easy way?
Cool. You do you! (Just make your disguise really good, ok? Otherwise the online vigilantes may be onto you.)
Now before you can plan your BQ party extravaganza, hang on a sec. Because if you truly want to BQ like a woman, you can’t get away with just slapping on a wig and some makeup. There are substances that you might have an inkling exist in women’s bodies, substances that majorly affect our running as we cruise to that oh-so-easy BQ. That’s right: hormones.
Yep, join us for a quick trip back to sixth-grade health class as we learn how you can really, truly qualify for Boston like a girl. Read more >>
Happy Marathon Monday! Today, let’s dish about all things Boston. We’re celebrating Hops’ awesome performance at the BAA 5k and gearing up to cheer for Pesto, Olive, Dill, Fennel, Wintergreen, and Des, of course. And we want to hear from you, no matter who you are!
Are You Racing Today?
Are you reading this waiting to start in Hopkinton? What are your goals today? What’s your number? We’ll track and cheer for you!
or Tracking Besties?
Are you pretending to work while tracking your buddies running today? Who are they and what are you hoping for them?
or Betting on the Winners?
Think Des has a shot? Will Jordan come out and stun in her first marathon? Is Galen healthy enough to mix it up with the leaders? How will Meb sing his swan song?
or Hope to Get There Someday?
Are you hoping to make it to Boston? How hard have you tried? What would it mean to you to make it?
Whoever you are, tell us how you feel about Boston!
♦And join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 p.m. Pacific on Twitter for a very special Boston Marathon edition of #SaltyChat! We’ll rehash the race and give our favorite BQ tips and more!♦
A year ago, I couldn’t walk without crutches, couldn’t reach my feet to tie my shoes.
Today, I laced up and ran a marathon.
Eight months ago, I could barely run for 20 seconds at a time. My hip felt awkward and clumsy, as if all my veteran running muscles had abandoned me and left me with clueless glutes and quads. You want us to do what? Sorry, what does R-U-N spell, again?
Back then, I remember telling myself to just do the work in front of me and trust the process. Back then, the work was a Couch to 5k. I tried not to judge myself for how hard it felt. I tried to take the next step, whatever it might be, and accept where I was.
For eight months, I took step after step until the next step landed me on the starting line of the Kenai River Marathon. There were so many times in the past year that I doubted myself, doubted the process, doubted I’d make it to the start, much less the finish. I’m still in jaw-dropping disbelief at what I asked my body to do today, and that it answered with a heart pounding YES. Read more >>
- There’s a train blocking the race course; or
- It turns out the course was mis-measured and was only 26.0 miles instead of 26.2; or
- Oops, looks like the pace group leader led you off course by a mile.
These are just three real things that have happened to marathoners that have cost them BQs or to otherwise miss their goals. Talking about these incidents got us wondering:
- What’s the worst #racefail you’ve encountered?
- How would you handle it if something like this happened to you?
- Is it fair that the BAA won’t allow runners who were subjected to these incidents, but would likely otherwise qualify, enter the Boston Marathon?
Are you a runner who, despite running marathon after marathon has struggled to qualify for Boston? Perhaps you’ve been plagued by one injury after another? Have you become fixated on the amount calories burned on the treadmill? Or have you been so hung up on race times that when conditions have not been right you have lacked the confidence to execute what your training has prepared you for? If you can relate to any of these things, then you can relate to Elizabeth Clor.
By morning Elizabeth is an avid runner. By day she works as a marketing professional. By evening she is a writer, wife, and pianist with an awesome zebra obsession. Recently, she added the “competed in the Boston Marathon” to her long list of accomplishments. Boston was the final destination of an eight-year journey. Along the way she learned to overcome mental obstacles and injuries, adapt to conditions as they change, and to enjoy the process.
In her recently released book, Boston Bound, Elizabeth shares her journey from her Boston Qualifier to the Boston Marathon. Spoiler alert: The weather was horrendous, but was she devastated? No. For Elizabeth, running Boston was a proxy for so much more.
Stefani Penn Harvey learned the hard way to respect the marathon distance. As a recently-graduated post-collegiate runner with one half marathon and a few 12-mile training runs under her belt, she jumped into the Rock’n Roll Arizona marathon fully expecting to qualify for Boston, but she was in for a rude awakening and a 34-minute positive split.
Her resulting 3:58 gave her a new-found appreciation for the hard work, dedication and training it would take to become a successful marathoner. She took that lesson to heart, and eight months later on her next marathon attempt she nabbed that Boston qualifying time in Portland. Now, six marathons, thousands of miles, two cities, a Ph.D, a marriage, and a new career later, she’s heading back to Boston with a marathon personal best 55 minutes faster than her first. In less than two weeks, she’ll cross the starting line in Hopkinton with the big goal of breaking 3:00 for the first time.
It’s been two years since Molly Stout last crossed the finish line on Boylston Street. The 33-year-old will be running her 20th marathon at the 120th Boston Marathon. She’s been running for many years, steadily dropping her marathon time by more than an hour, and is coming off a big PR of 3:14 at the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon.
Molly’s life revolves around running and healthy living. By day, she works as an analyst for Columbus Public Health and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. She blogs at mollylstout.com and also recently started her own Etsy shop, Heart & Sole Running Co., selling running-themed printed quotes and greeting cards. Outside of running and marathon training, Molly lives outside of Columbus with her husband, Matt, and their adorable cats. On warm and sunny Saturdays, you can find her at the golf course with Matt or getting ready for her next long run.
With family in Hopkinton, Molly grew up watching the start of the race and knowing that one day she would be there too, running the historic race. She started running in elementary school and despite some injury setbacks in high school, she’s been running since. It hasn’t been an easy road to get there and took this dedicated runner several cracks at the marathon to nail her BQ. Molly and I have known each other for about five years as Twitter and Facebook friends and I’ve always been impressed by her dedication to training and the love and passion she has for the sport. She has been training hard for this year’s race and I was excited to talk with her about her running career and Boston!
Julie Tarallo wears her love for the city of Boston on her face. She grew up in Easton, Massachusetts, just 30 minutes from downtown Boston. At her first Boston Marathon in 2013, she set a massive 18-minute marathon PR before bombs exploded at the finish line, devastating her beloved city.
Julie vowed to come back the following year and give the city the celebratory marathon day it deserved. But training for the 2014 Boston Marathon was full of setbacks and shortened training due to a nagging injury. Full of fiery passion and with a temporary Boston heart tattoo plastered on her face, Julie lined up anyway and nearly met her PR. Immediately following the race, she had to vigorously scrub the tattoo off her face and hop on a plane back to Washington, DC so she could make a job interview the next morning.
She’s excitedly training for her third Boston and once again has run into a few bumps along the way, including crazy work hours as John McCain’s press secretary and another nagging injury. But as her teammate on the Georgetown Running Club, I’ve watched Julie defy expectations each time she heads to Boston. More importantly, she makes sure to enjoy every second of the epic course. On April 18th, when she lines up with her usual Boston pride, no one should count her out from turning in another stellar performance. And she’ll certainly be running with a giant smile, showing her love for the city with every step. Read more >>
In 2013, Katie Kay raced her first and Jen Dahler raced her third Boston Marathon. That year, the race was rocked by a bomb near the finish line. In the wake of the tragedy, sisters Katie and Jen vowed they’d go back. They would go back to prove that Boston was about running and triumph, not terror. They would go back to bring back happy memories of a future Boston Marathon to replace the tragic ones from 2013. And although they didn’t know it then, they would go back without one of their biggest cheerleaders, their dad.
After taking some time off to recover from a mild case of burn-out this past summer, and with Jen’s encouragement, Katie finally agreed to give Boston another shot. Both sisters jumped all-in despite intensely busy schedules, including caring for the five young children between them. Everything was going according to plan when, in mid-November of 2015, their father passed away suddenly, rocking their worlds once again.
Katie, in particular, wasn’t sure if she could keep going but, again with Jen’s support, she pushed on. And while he wouldn’t be there to cheer them on, Jen and Katie did what their dad would want them to do: they stuck with it, dug in deeper, and are going for their goals on April 18. Read more >>
I had a blast meeting Salty and Cinnamon in Jacksonville and I’m psyched to be joining this community! Yesterday Cinnamon told you a little bit about my story, but here’s the extended version:
By day, I’m a science journalist, writing about the body and brain for various publications. By early morning, I’m a marathoner who survives by drinking copious amounts of tea (I can’t stand coffee), eating too much chocolate, and avoiding 5Ks at all costs. But I was not always so dedicated to the pursuit of long distances.
After spending my childhood declaring running the most boring sport on the planet, I was somehow convinced to follow in my older siblings’ footsteps and try cross country in high school. I was immediately proven wrong about the boring part and by sophomore year was running year-round in cross country and track.
But once I got to college, I stopped running. I knew I’d be in a better place both physically and psychologically if I got back into it, but just couldn’t get into a routine. Sophomore year I decided nothing would motivate me better than a date with twenty-six miles, so I signed up to run a marathon. I finished, totally psyched to complete the thing in 4:07. Read more >>
Since we’re talking about big fall A races today, let’s talk about mine. File this one under some runs are just not as awesome as others. I have said that over and over and over again. There are those races when the wheels fell off. That happened to me during the Big Revel Cottonwood marathon in Utah.
I was not expecting the wheels to fall off at all. That had never happened to me before during a race. Plus, I had trained hard and I had trained smart. I was expecting a PR. Why? Not just because I have run every marathon a little faster than the one before it. Not just because this marathon bragged that most people PR and that it is one of the fastest Boston qualifiers. And not just because I was ready. I had a 4:10 PaceBand to prove it. Read more >>
Cheating sucks. Here at Salty Running we have several bloggers who have worked their tails off to qualify for Boston. Some have made it and some haven’t. Some of them did qualify, but were shut out from registering because they didn’t qualify enough. So it really steams me when someone claims to have earned this achievement and takes a spot on the Boston start line when good, honest people who earned it get shut out.
Enter Viral Letter-to-Principal Boston Marathon Guy. He’s the guy who took his kids with him while he ran Boston, received a form letter from their principal advising him their absences were unexcused, and then publicly reamed her out for questioning the educational value of witnessing their dad heroically overcome injury to complete the Boston Marathon. Sounds noble, until we learn of allegations that he cheated his way to Boston. WHAT?! Could it be?
Here’s the evidence. You decide: Read more >>
What’s a girl to do now that Meb and Mizz Jeptoo have crossed the line and Boylston Street has been swept clean? How’s a Boston addict to cope with the long, lonely months that stretch between now and April 2015? I, for one, feel like all the helium has been let out of my pumped-up little balloon of Boston anticipation. After such an incredible build-up, not to mention one of the coolest Boston finishes EVER, I’m left wondering how to deal with this mild case of Boston Marathon Withdrawal.
Never fear! Salty Running’s Friday 5 is here to save the day with some fool-proof ways to cope with your post-Boston blues. We can get through this together, friends! Read more >>
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