I can’t believe that I actually get to write this…I will be running the 2014 Boston Marathon!!!!!!!!!!!
Registration opened on September 9th, but for the first week, it was only open to runners who had beat the qualifying time by 5-20 minutes. I was unbelievably happy with my qualifying time (as we Boston Marathoners call it, BQ) of 3:31:25, a full 3 minutes and 35 seconds faster than I needed, but I was really nervous that the race would fill up before I could get in. When registration opened for all qualifiers on Monday the 16th, I immediately registered. But of course, I didn’t find out if I got in. Registration was not first come first served, but rather continued to be based on qualifying time. Registration closed on the 20th, but runners still didn’t find out what the cut off would be. Did 10,000 people beat the qualifying time by 4:30 minutes? Or were there a lot of “squeakers” who barely made the cut off time? I didn’t know and I was trying not to worry. I consoled myself – if I didn’t get in, I would register for BOTH the DC rock’n’roll marathon and the Flying Pig Marathon. But of course…how would that compare to Boston? It would be heartbreaking to qualify and STILL not be fast enough to get in.
Boston Athletic Association announced that it would accept/reject runners on Wednesday, September 25. So I woke up at 6:30am and immediately started checking my email. Nothing. All morning long, I could do nothing but hit refresh on my email and check my credit card account – a pending charge was a good sign. If it went away, I probably would not be getting the email that I wanted.
After waiting all morning, I decided to go for a lunchtime run. It was a beautiful day and I managed to forget about registration for a little while…until I got back to the gym where I immediately checked my email. The top email was my ACCEPTANCE email!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Within 2 hours, I had my flight and hotel booked and I had announced to everyone that I know (and some people that I don’t!) that I, MarathonMennone, had accomplished the dream. I ran, I qualified, I registered. I was accepted. I am in.
There’s no way around it – the 2014 Boston Marathon will be bittersweet. Our hearts will be solemn as we stand at the starting line and I know that we will all be looking over our shoulders as we cross the finish line. Not because we’re afraid, but rather to acknowledge those who didn’t make it across in 2013.