What Non-Runners Know About the Boston Marathon


Let's face it: this obsession with Boston is something only runners understand. To most of the non-running community, saying you're running the Boston marathon doesn't mean much. Half the time, you'll get the, "Oh a marathon.. how far is this one?" But very few people outside of us idiots know what it takes to get there.

Even so, I wonder about the standards a lot. For me, I love them: they were made for a guy like me who on a good day, with a good plan and a good tail wind might get there. Yet at the same time, I read a lot of running blogs. Some of the writers (these two come to mind) would be embarrassed if all they could say was that they qualified for Boston. These guys don't get out of bed for anything slower than a 2:50. A slothly 3:15 would be a tremendous failure in their world. And that's not a bad thing: it's just how their world is.

Meanwhile, guys like Steve Walker are the epitome of the word "runner," yet - and I think he wouldn't mind me saying this - will never qualify for Boston. (note: Steve runs Boston every year via the marathon's charity program) Not because they don't have the heart or the dedication, but because their particular genetic brew simply had a little too much of this and not quite enough of that.

All that being said, I am lucky. 3:15 is attainable for me. It's not an automatic (otherwise I wouldn't have failed twice already trying to get there!) but I know that on September 13th, I'll be close enough to go for it. The good news? My non-running friends won't know what it means if I trip up again.


  1. dang! I was hoping that the last column would be the tallest!

  2. I had to wait for the old man bonus minutes to kick in before I qualified. So don’t worry if you never achieve a 3:15 because a 3:20 BQ is only a couple years away and a 3:30 BQ is just 5 years after that.

    At any rate, when you do get there it is well worth the effort and you’ll be among tens of thousands of people who appreciate what it took for you to run in Boston.

  3. Nice post, thanks for stopping by.


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