Now that the new qualifying times are out long enough that emotions have cooled, I thought I’d share my thoughts quickly on the new times and ask you what you think of them.
For those who missed the news (I suppose it’s possible) the BAA tightened their qualifying standards. Every qualifying time got 5 minutes faster. Some people are very upset about this. I tend to take a different view of it.
I get it, if you have been working toward the standard, it stinks that the target got moved on you. Especially if you were targeting a fall race to qualify for 2020, it’s tough.
However, to actually get into the 2019 Boston Marathon, you already needed to run 4:52 faster than the qualifying time. In my opinion, tightening the standards by 5 minutes is simply truth in advertising. For 2020, you would have most likely needed to be more than 5 minutes faster than the qualifying standard to actually get in. Why not be more honest about things and just say you need to be 5 minutes faster?
In my opinion, the only thing they could have done better was to announce earlier that this was coming. They knew for quite some time that this time was coming. They could have announced last year that new qualifying standards were coming from 2020. That way people would have known with plenty of advance notice.
What do you think? Did the BAA do the right thing by tightening the standard? Could they have handled it better? Should they have left well enough alone?