How far are you to Boston Qualifying Time – My analytics attempt


I admire anyone that run Boston Marathon. Especially if you are not a runner growing up, but picked it up as a hobby and now qualified to run BOSTON – all the more respect to you! Its just an amazing thing in the entire world! I understand the whole glamour of Boston had to do with them not being able to accommodate more runners, hence restrict the entry by qualifying time.But we crave something that we have to fight for, and I think that is the glamour of Boston! It has to be earned. Its so in sync with how runners think, to earn something, not to be given. You can’t convince me to get a finisher medal for $10. I would rather pay $100, register and train my behind, to run all those 13 miles to get the same medal. Its the ‘earn’ part.

Last week, my boy friend and I had a little Christmas dinner with few of our close friends. My friend Kristen who I haven’t seen in a longest time, after hearing about my running stories, casually said ‘so what is next… Boston?’. Now I have checked the Boston Qualifying times just like everyone else to see why I shouldn’t dream of such a thing. But since she asked me, I was little intrigued to know and find out what is between my current time and Boston.

See, I am a data guy. Numbers tastes like cupcakes to me. I love numbers and analytics. So I obviously needed to find out even if I could never run Boston, ever in my life, how far I am from even aiming for such a goal.

For this project, this is what I relied on.

  1. Boston Qualifying time.
    18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
    35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec(+5min) 3hrs 40min 00sec(+5)
    40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec(+5min) 3hrs 45min 00sec(+15)
    45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec(+10min) 3hrs 55min 00sec(+10)
    50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec(+5min) 4hrs 00min 00sec(+5)
    55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec(+10min) 4hrs 10min 00sec(+10)
    60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec(+15min) 4hrs 25min 00sec(+15)
    65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec(+15min) 4hrs 40min 00sec(+15)
    70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec(+15min) 4hrs 55min 00sec(+15)
    75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec(+15) 5hrs 10min 00sec(+15)
    80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec(+15) 5hrs 25min 00sec(+15)
    1. Note that for men and women the BQ times are different.
    2. For men, upon 34 years its 3hr 05mins. At 35 to 44, Each 5 years, the qualifying time goes slower by 5minutes. So as long as you run the same speed, or improve,, at somepoint the BQ will catch up to you! at 45 to 49 it goes slower by 10mins. 50-54 it goes slower by another 5mins. 55 and after the time goes slower by 15mins every 5 years. So if you continue to be runner, Boston can be a dream at some point in your life.
    3. For women, they start off with a 30 min slower advantage as BQ time than men. Upto age 34, its 3hr 35mins.  At 35  to 39 , the time goes slower by 5minutes. AT 40 to 44 slower by 15mins. (It gets lot easier for girls in 40s).  At 45, they get another  10min jump, and a 5min for 50 to 54. Another 10min jump at 55 to 59. Its 15minutes slower each 5 years after. So if you train with women athlete, and run the same speed, they will beat you to BQ lot sooner.Before you get jealous please know that, Women weren’t allowed to run in Boston marathon up until 1972)
  1. I really like McMillan Running calculator. When I started to run, and wanted to find out what speed I could do for a half marathon, I used their running time projector, and it gave me an idea of what I could run a half marathon. (Lilnk: ).
    1. its still a projection, and you need to account for your training, course elevation, weather and other aspects. But the time you see here is reasonable attempt.
    2. After running several half marathon, I used the chart to see what my 5k would look like. Since I ran my half marathon in Riverside at 1:42, I used this site to see what I could aim for a 5k. It projected my 5k time to be 22:04, and I finished just under 22:00 at the last 5k. So the times  in a way are approximate projections, but are reflective of what you could aim and achieve.
  2. Since I never ran a marathon, I thought I would use the Boston Qualifying times, and use McMillan running projector for the Boston Qualifying times to see what my 5k/10k/half marathon times should already be to be able to achieve or not achieve BQ for that age group.
  3. So i combed BQ time + McMillan Projection of what the times for difference races are in this table.


How do I read this:

  1. I am 40 this year,.
  2. BQ time for me would be 3:15, which is a pace of 7:26. I should be running my 5ks at this point at 6:26pace which I don’t. So I know I can’t even dream of BQ for next few years.
  3. However, When I turn 45, I should be able to run my 5k at 6:46, which is not a bad goal.
  4. So In 5 years, I could train and run a BOSTON QUALIFYING marathon at a all-down hill course at a speed of 7:49 pace(I already run this pace for half marathons). ( I don’t have to fight hills for BQ times, and there are plenty of downhill courses, I could aim for).
  5. With this data, I could feel like I may be able to BQ when I turn 45. This will help plan my times and training for next 4 years. If I get better, I can go back and recalculate my projections!

You could use this chart, and figure out where you are currently, and what your gap is. If you already run marathons you know your stuff. But if you are like me, who is just starting, this will be like a google map of your BQ time in the future!

If you have run Boston, do you think this chart reflects of what you were times were when you qualified for Boston? I would like to hear your feedback and tweak this little more!

This is just my attempt , but if you find any value in this please do share! 🙂

Updated : for 2019 the times were:

18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 00min 08sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 05min 08sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 10min 08sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 20min 08sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 3hrs 25min 08sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 3hrs 35min 08sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 3hrs 50min 08sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 05min 08sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 20min 08sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 35min 08sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 50min 08sec
18-34 3hrs 35min 00sec 3hrs 30min 08sec
35-39 3hrs 40min 00sec 3hrs 35min 08sec
40-44 3hrs 45min 00sec 3hrs 40min 08sec
45-49 3hrs 55min 00sec 3hrs 50min 08sec
50-54 4hrs 00min 00sec 3hrs 55min 08sec
55-59 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 05min 08sec
60-64 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 20min 08sec
65-69 4hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 35min 08sec
70-74 4hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 50min 08sec
75-79 5hrs 10min 00sec 5hrs 05min 08sec
80 and over 5hrs 25min 00sec 5hrs 20min 08sec


  1. This is a really interesting blog post. Thanks for sharing! I think that the times look about right, providing you get in enough miles during marathon training. Good luck with your training and marathon journey! 🙂


    • Thanks for your comments. I do like using McMillan’s pace predictor. Obviously the training decides , but when I was moving from 5k to half this projector gave me a very clear idea of speeds I could aim for, and without any coach, I could help come up with a pace plan on my own. thanks for reading my article and your wishes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I have a 1:42 half time and I’m going to go for a BQ this fall (w/o having the projected 5k or 10k McMillan suggests, lol). My 5k PR is 22:30 so I’m not too far away from that one…jaja!!! We’ll see how it goes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think with the right weather, course, a 1:42 half marathon could help/support your un the 7:06 pace easily for a 5k. If you dont have it officially don’t worry about it! You have it in you 🙂 good luck with the BQ! which race are you aiming for – to BQ?

      Liked by 1 person

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