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On Thursday morning, the Boston Athletic Association announced that if you ran a qualifying time for your age group and gender and applied during the registration window, you’re in for April 18, 2022. Seriously: the Boston Marathon cutoff time is 0 minutes and 0 seconds.
This is the first time since 2013 that the cutoff time has been so low, and a stark difference to the cutoff times for 2021, which at seven minutes and 47 seconds (meaning you had to have a time of 7:47 faster than the qualifying time for your gender and age group) made the race the hardest to get into since 1986. For 2022, almost 24,000 runners applied during the registration window of November 12–18, with a return to the traditional field size of 30,000 (an increase of 10,000 runners from 2021, when the number of entrants was reduced as a part of COVID-19 safety measures).
But in addition to qualifying, all runners in 2022 must also have received the full COVID-19 vaccination.
For the first time since 2013, the “cut-off” time is 0 minutes & 0 seconds. We’re proud to share that all qualified athletes who applied Nov. 8-12 will be accepted into the 126th #BostonMarathon, provided their qualifying time is verified.https://t.co/gdOVq8vSQo#Boston126 pic.twitter.com/fTiFkmnmzo
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) November 18, 2021
Due to COVID cancellations and delays (the 2021 marathon was held in October), it is the first time in three years the historic race will be held, once again, on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April.
What accounts for the ease of entry this year? It’s likely that runners simply didn’t have a lot of races to choose from during the qualifying window, due to the pandemic. It may turn out to be an anomaly and that the bigger, faster cut-off marks will return in 2023, when more 26.2-mile events return to normal operations and more runners return to racing. Speaking of which: The qualifying window for 2023 began on Sept. 1, 2021 and registration dates will be announced after April 18.