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Boston is considered the elite marathon.  First you have to qualify to fun it.  It seems like everyone wants to run Boston. . . . at least once in their life.  Boston is the oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious races.  The Boston Marathon has established itself as the pinnacle event in road racing events due to its longevity, its traditions and that fact that one must qualify to enter the event.    The Boston marathon is traditionally held on the third Monday in April, which happens to be Patriot’s Day and a state wide holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The 2008 Boston had 22,000 runners that completed the race.  The 2009 registration will be limited to the first 25,000!  That is a lot of runners! One runner, John A. Kelly ran Boston 61 times, finishing 58 races.  The first time he competed was in 1928 and the last time he ran the race was in 1994 at 84!  

However it is also a grueling course with lots of hills.  The most notable landmark is Heartbreak Hill,  The name of this hill was coined in reference to one of Kelly’s 7 runner up performances in the race. 

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, one has to run in a qualifying race – The Chicago Marathon is a qualifying race.  You also have to run with in a specific time, based on age.  From the Boston Marathon website:

Toqualify for the 113th Boston Marathon, athletes must meet the designated time standard which corresponds to their age group. Qualifying times must be run on or after September 29, 2007. Seeding is based on qualifying times, which are subject to review and verification. All participants must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the B.A.A., USA Track and Field or foreign equivalent, International Paralympic Committee, Wheelchair Sports, USA, Disabled Sports, USA, and the United States Association for Blind Athletes. Qualifying times must be met in competitions observing these same rules. Proof of qualification must accompany the application. Participants must be 18 years or older on race day.

Based on some of the training times, I have it in me to qualify for Boston, but it means that everything has to come together on the same day.  Things like the weather, I need to be at my peak on the 12th, well rested, well hydrated, etc.    I would have to run the Chicago Marathon in less than 4 hours and 59 seconds!

So I have set the following goals for this marathon;

To finish my training well – I have one more long run of 20 miles this week.  I want to finish it strong and without injuries in a good time of 3.5 hours – this should be good enough to get me a 4 hour finish time in race conditions.

I want to finish my training injury free.  I have promised a friend that if I get injured I will not run Chicago.  I ran Grandma’s injured and it was not a good race and the recovery time was really long.

I want to finish the race on standing on my own two feet – which sometimes means sacrificing speed to finish.

So for now, I have my eyes set on finishing strong and will let God determine the finishing time.