How to qualify for Boston marathon

How to qualify for Boston marathon - main image

Understanding Boston marathon qualifying times and techniques to help you qualify successfully

Life’s full of stages. And we’ve all been through many of them. From our first day at school to a loved one’s funeral, cultivating strength has always been integral. No matter the challenge, being able to overcome that challenge is what makes us who we are.

But what if we don’t overcome them, what if we fail?

The world of fitness is no different. Sure it’s important to pass our tests, reach our mileages and defeat PBs, but it’s what it all means that drives us towards it.

In this instance, we want to qualify for the Boston Marathon. So the question you may ask is, what do I need to get there, and why am I doing this in the first place?

That’s a perfectly fine question, in fact, it’s a vital one to ask, but it needs to be accompanied by something…

You need to ask yourself this – ‘what happens if I don’t qualify?’

‘Will I feel like a failure?’

‘Will all that hard work be for nothing?’

‘How am I going to tell everybody that I didn’t qualify?’

Digging deep for the real reasons, the real fears and the real inspirations will substantiate every part of your journey.

So, let’s see what you need in order to make that journey a reality.

Qualification Standards

Taken from B.A.A.

  • For the 2023 Boston Marathon, the qualifying window began on September 1, 2021. 
  • Registration for the 2023 Boston Marathon took place over five days, September 12-September 16, 2022.
  • The qualifying times below are based upon each athlete’s age on the date of the 2023 Boston Marathon (April 17, 2023).
  • Qualifying times are based on official submitted net time (also known as chip time).
  • Due to field size limitations, achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee entry into the event, but simply the opportunity to submit a registration application.
    • In recent years, not all qualifiers who submit an entry have been accepted due to field size restrictions.
    • If the total amount of submissions surpasses the allotted field size for qualified athletes, then those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group will be accepted.

Check out more standards here.

Qualifying Times

From age group relative to qualifying time, the qualifying race day relative to the field size limit, you need to take a few things into account.

Firstly, with the age group 18-34 you’ll be looking to qualify at 3hrs or less. That’s the Boston qualifying time for that age group, nothing more or you’ll fail. 80 and over, on the other hand, are looking at 5hrs and 20mins. Check out the other Boston marathon qualifying times here.


There’s plenty of info out there, far more than can be written of here. From the qualifying standards of the Boston Athletic Association to your own journey and path in adhering to them, distance runners like yourself can’t just go the full distance with running, you need to do it all.


Does it matter if a runners qualified before?

No, you still have to meet the qualifying times.

Are indoor marathons a thing?

They are indeed, check if one is available to you.

**Also, check out our post “How to enter London Marathon 2023” to learn more.

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