Throughout my recent case of the burnout blues, running Boston 2012 has always remained a shining light in my calendar. My BQ and PB of 3:39:36 that I achieved this past November in NY, after having trained incredibly hard for months, has been a continued source of inspiration and pride.

Turns out my BQ is no longer a BQ, and I’m absolutely devastated.

BAA just announced that they have tightened their registration procedures and qualifying times, with a “rolling admission” schedule favoring faster runners entering the 2012 race, and new qualifying times for runners wishing to run in 2013. For more information on these changes, please read this article.

I can’t say that I’m surprised, given the news coverage that followed the 2011 registration, which filled in record time in October 2010 and meant that I could not run this year’s race. I also fully admit that the new qualifying times, which are five minutes faster for every category, are very fair and also welcomed by many in the running community. However, for people like me, it’s highly disappointing – like someone snatching an extremely precious, fragile object (that you earned, damnit!) right out of your hands and shattering it at your feet.

Only having just learned this sad news, I’m obviously clinging to a very irrational and unrealistic hope that I’ll still get into the 2012 race with my NYC time (because surely there won’t be enough faster runners to fill the field, which has not increased in size…). But most likely that will not happen.

I’m quite confident that if I ran 3:39 on a course as challenging as NYC, then I can run 3:35 on a flat course like Berlin in good conditions. I’m not so sure, however, that I’ll have the opportunity (or more importantly, the drive) to get a new BQ before September 2011…

Either way, BAA has spoken: Time to pick up the pace, runners!!

And in my case, snap out of it and get back in the game!


Perhaps the world is trying to send me a message? Something along the lines of, Let’s see how it goes, but give yourself a break, Claire!

Whatever happens, though, BAA can’t take my PB away – or my pride!