The Boston Marathon is the THE marathon that many runners dream of running someday. Part of that is due to the fact that there is a qualifying time that hopeful runners must hit to be able to apply. Unfortunately, that qualifying time does not guarantee you will get in, though, as many thousands of runners found out this year. Here is how fast you had to be to get in for the 2024 Boston Marathon.
The 2024 Boston Marathon Cut-Off Time
The Boston Marathon has changed the qualifying times necessary to apply a few times over the years, most recently in 2020. That was due to more runners than ever applying with qualifying times at the old standards and then not making the cut. So, here is what the current qualifying time table looks like for the Boston Marathon.
Yes, that is fast! I am not yet fast enough to apply, needing to chop 19 minutes off my best marathon time (3:29) to be successful. My goal is to wait until the 2027 Boston Marathon as I will be 45 for that one and “only” need a 3:20 to apply. But, there is a reason that may change…
How Fast Did Successful Entrants Need to Be to Be Accepted for the 2024 Boston Marathon?
There were a record of 33,058 runners who applied, meaning all of them had run the qualifying times for their gender and age group. Of that number, only 22,019 runners were accepted.
They were unable to accept 11,039 qualified runners. The cut-off time (which was the time faster than the various qualifying times) was 5 minutes and 29 seconds. That means that, for example, a male runner between the age of 18-34 would have had to run a 2:54:31 marathon to actually get in instead of just the 3 hours flat that the chart requires.
This says that the qualified runners are getting faster but it also is a huge blow to the entrants who nailed a successful qualifying time only to find out that they were not fast enough. They were racing against an unknown number at the time, which certainly is a big disappointment.
Another big number is that 50% of the runners that got in are racing their first Boston Marathon. Here are some other big numbers. 6,182 accepted runners beat their qualifying time by 20 minutes or more, 8,858 runners beat their qualifying time between 10 minutes and 19:59 minutes, and 6,979 runners got in between 5:29-9:59 faster than their qualifying minimum.
To ALL runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon, whether accepted in the end or not, a huge congratulations! I know it is a huge disappointment to the 30% that didn’t make the cut.
My guess is we are going to see the Boston Marathon qualifying times change again, likely by becoming even 5 minutes faster than before. This will make it be the fastest qualifying times since 1986 when males ages 19-39 needed a 2:50 to qualify.
Featured image courtesy of Marcio Jose Bastos Silva via Shutterstock