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.
One Second …
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.