Friday, October 15, 2010

Boston or Bust?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 1:43 PM

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During the final 10K of last Sunday's Portland Marathon, I was miserable enough to hope someone would shoot me. Above all, I was certain that I never needed to run another marathon in my life.

However, something about the passage of time has a way of dampening painful memories. Now that I've had a few days to forget how awful I felt, I've started thinking about the Boston Marathon. Registration opens on Monday, and despite a relentless downpour during the entire race, I managed to run fast enough on Sunday to hit a qualifying time. Here in the Treasure Valley, I imagine many participants in the City of Trees Marathon did the same.

That alone wasn't enough to get me thinking about signing up for Boston, but then I read the Wall Street Journal this morning, and an article caught my eye. I can't even pretend to believe that it's a coincidence. The article was all about the Boston Marathon and the inequity between men's and women's qualifying time standards. In other words, it's much easier for a woman to qualify than it is for a man, even after adjusting for the male's larger heart, greater muscle mass and bigger lung capacity.

Because the marathon has become so popular, field sizes need to be limited—they already allow more than 20,000 runners, which is double the size of the Portland Marathon. So, it doesn't take a nuclear physicist to figure out that it might be harder to qualify for Boston in the years to come. Which means maybe now is the time to sign up.

But if 26.2 miles seems like too many (and trust me, it is), there's always the annual Barber To Boise fun run this Saturday. With the option of running a 5K or a 10K, it's impossible to go wrong, and race director Ryan Canning definitely knows how to put on a good after-party with pancakes and live music at Bronco Stadium. I'm not ready to run again yet, but with a weather forecast for "perfect," anyone who is would be a fool to miss it.

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