Boston Marathon – Qualified, yet Rejected (My Story)

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Modest Health - Boston Marathon Letter

With the 2017 Boston Marathon taking place this coming Monday (April 17), I am writing a few posts about my personal experience with the race. I have nothing but Love for Boston, this is my 1st story:

This journey started back in October 2013, at the starting line of the Chicago marathon.  For the months leading up to Chicago, I had trained relentlessly throughout the summer.  This period was the most focused I had ever been for a training cycle – social life, traveling, & good food were all sacrificed to get what I wanted – a Boston Marathon Qualifier.   All I needed to do was finish the race under 3:05:00. This time is the qualifying standard for the Men’s 18-34 group.

Qualifying Race – Chicago Marathon

When I crossed the finish line at the 2013 Chicago Marathon, the clock showed 3:04:14 (a 7:01 minute/mile pace)!!! I finished with 46 seconds to spare. Given the registration window for Boston, this meant I would be participating in the 2015 edition.

2013 Chicago Marathon Results

My 2013 Chicago Marathon Results

The Worst News (ever)

When it was time for me to register for Boston Marathon, I was already outlining the race logistics (traveling, training plan, everything!).  For many runners, qualifying & running in the world’s most prestigious marathon is a highlight of a lifetime. A few weeks after registration, I received the letter from the organizers of the Boston Marathon…

Boston Marathon Rejection Letter

2015 Boston Marathon Rejection Letter

Even though I had finished under the qualifying time, I still was rejected from participating in the race.  Because of the high demand to be a part of this race along with marathon bombings that occurred in 2013, there was more interest and demand than in the past.

With the Boston Marathon qualifying system, runners that had lower qualifying times were more likely to be accepted. For example, if I finished Chicago Marathon in 3:00:00, I was 5-minutes under the standard and more likely to be accepted. In reality, I finished the Chicago race just 46-seconds under the qualifying time.

The actual cut-off time (for the Men’s 18-34 group) was 3:03:58…I was a mere +16 seconds over.

When I first read the rejection letter, I felt numb. I trained so hard, yet could not participate even though I followed all the rules.  Soon after the rejection, the pity party ended.  It was not just me who qualified but was rejected, this happened to thousands of other runners as well.

Boston Marathon is a private entity & have the ability to determine who participates (and who does not).  Instead of being angry, I moved on.

Never Give Up

Even though I was not accepted initially, I did what other runners would do – find another race.  Looking through, there was a marathon race in Illinois around the same time as Boston.  I registered for the full 26.2 race & began training.  Growing up in Chicago area, this would be a great alternative to Boston. I would be able to visit family while visiting, along with running as well.

Yes – I would have rather been accepted into Boston. Although I was not accepted, it did not stop me from what was really important  – running.   In life, consider yourself a lucky person if everything always goes the way you like.  For everyone else, adapt to the situation and go from there.

As for the 2015 Boston Marathon – the stars somehow aligned for me….

Make Today > Yesterday

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