One Second Made A Disappointing Difference For This Runner’s Goal

Boston Marathon qualifying
Written by Charlie

The value of one second – a single second – can be huge depending on what you are doing. For this runner, it meant the difference in achieving his goal.

Our lives are fairly scheduled, especially when it comes to travel. How many times have you arrived for a flight just in time – knowing that if you had stopped for the bathroom, grabbed a coffee or anything else you would have missed that flight.

5 Tips For Selecting A Boston Marathon Qualifying Race

One Second …

Boston Marathon qualifying

One Runner Missed His Start Here By One Second | Courtesy Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock

When it comes to the Boston Marathon, all the marathoners that have the goal to run it know exactly what their qualifying time needs to be. However, something has shifted in the last couple of years. Instead of the qualifying time guaranteeing you an entry into the great Boston Marathon, you must wait to see if your qualifying time was actually good enough to get in.

This is because Boston takes the fastest runners first and works their way back to the qualifying time. Last year, that time was 1 minute and 2 seconds – all runners that bested their Boston qualifying time by that margin or more were in. This year, that line was an even bigger gap – 2 minutes and 28 seconds faster than qualifying times was the limit!

A Disappointing Difference

The part where the value of a second comes into play is for the runners who completed their Boston Marathon qualifying race with a time good enough to apply and then found out that they missed the cut-off by only 1 second! That was the case this year for runner David Martinez who ran a 3 hour, 2 minutes, and 33 second marathon to qualify for entry into the Boston Marathon under the requirement of 3 hours and 5 minutes. But, it was not enough to make the cut – missing in fact by only one second!

If you have ever run a marathon, just think about where you could have grabbed that extra second. It could be at the start with a packed starting line, a mis-grab of a water cup, struggling with the bathroom latch – anything. For some of these runners, their qualifying race was the race of their life and now they need to run another one and do it even better, just for the hope of making it under the cut for the 2017 Boston Marathon. You can read more about the story in this Boston Globe story.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.