The Boston Marathon: Your Chance to Win Entry in 2016!

Have you always wanted to run THE marathon of all marathons?  Have you dreamt of crossing the finish line on Boylston Street?  Do you long to have a medal with a unicorn hanging around your neck?  If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you definitely want to keep reading!

After doing a little reading on the history of this epic event, I learned quite a bit that I was not aware of from the Boston Athletic Association, the host of the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897 making it the oldest marathon run in the United States.  The course was just 24.5 miles until 1924 when it was changed to to align with the Olympic distance of 26.2 miles.  That same year, the start of the race was changed from Ashland, MA, to Hopkinton, MA, where it still begins to this day. The race as we know it today is always held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April.  However, that was not always the case.  Up until 1969, while the race was held on Patriots’ Day, the holiday always fell on April 19th and not always on a Monday.  In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first serious marathon to include a wheelchair division competition, with Bob Hall as the first finisher.

Let’s face it, the Boston Marathon is THE marathon to run!  The race is well known by competitors spanning the globe and it is a huge part of running history.  If you’re at all like me, you’ve always wanted a chance to toe the line in Hopkinton on the third Monday in April surrounded by upwards of 30,000 runners including THE BEST in racing…and you envision yourself making it those 26.2 miles to the finish as an estimated 500,000 spectators stand by to watch.  SIMPLY AMAZING!

boston-marathon-finish-line-snow-shoveler

So the question is, how can you run Boston in 2016?

You can qualify (or die trying).  Here is information copied directly from the Boston Athletic Association site (Click here for most up to date information)

2016 BOSTON MARATHON QUALIFYING STANDARDS

Effective September 13, 2014. All standards below are based on official submitted net time.

AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN
18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec

While I do believe ANYTHING is possible, I’ve got about 55 minutes to cut off of my most recent marathon time to qualify.  I’m thinking that might not happen in time for 2016 without a miracle.  So I’ll keep training my butt off and working toward a BQ, but in the meantime…

You can apply to run for a charity.  (Click here for the official list and more information)  The John Hancock Non-Profit Program was started in 1989.  Today, upwards of 30 charities participate and offer their invitational entries to the applicants chosen to run.  As you likely know, the competition is fierce and it is difficult to nag a spot on a charity team.  Along with that, if you are amongst the lucky ones, there is a significant fundraising commitment attached.  This is my best bet in the near future.  I will definitely be applying to a handful of charitable organizations for entry in 2016.  Fingers crossed!

If all else fails…buy a raffle ticket for $100 for your chance to WIN entry into the 2016 Boston Marathon.  (Yes, I’ve already purchased mine!)  While this may seem like a silly way to some to gain your chance at running Boston, I say why the hell not!?!?!  Listen, Boston is on my bucket list so come hell or high water, I’m running it somehow, someway.  If my name happens to be chosen…YES PLEASE!!! Sign me up!

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The Merrimack Valley YMCA is currently running a raffle for one entry to the 2016 Boston Marathon.  Each ticket is $100 and only $150 tickets will be sold.  A minimum of 50 tickets must be sold for the raffle to take place.  Originally, the raffle drawing was to be held on June 1, 2015. However, the minimum ticket sales had not been met.  Thankfully, the MVYMCA has extended the opportunity to purchase your ticket for two more weeks!  The drawing will now be held on June 15, 2015.  Click here for all of the rules and regulations of this raffle.  It’s important to note that if you are the lucky winner, there is no fundraising requirement.  You get your bib and run it!

To purchase your ticket for $100, visit the Welcome Center at the Andover/North Andover, Lawrence or Methuen, MA YMCA or by contacting Kate Rozzi at krozzi@mvymca.org or 978-725-6681 ext 130.

May the power of the unicorn be with you!  GOOD LUCK!

BOSTON STRONG BABY!

BOSTON STRONG BABY!

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