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Boston Marathon anyone know anyone?

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  • Boston Marathon anyone know anyone?

    I tried to get into Boston marathon today. They have a mobility impaired division with qualifying time of 8 hours. They start before the race so its not like I would taking a spot from a "real runner". They won't take my ironman time for a qualifier.
    When I spoke with the woman today she said " the rules are the rules" I asked if I could appeal to somesone she said "NO" and " I don't even know if you would be in the mobility impaired division you have to qualify for it" she was not pleasent.
    Anyway I was wondering if anyone knows anyone or knows anyone who knows anyone that could help me?
    I am reaching out to everyone I know.

  • #2
    Hey Jill,
    A couple of years ago I read about an MSer who claimed to have gotten into the Boston through the MS society somehow, maybe an MS society team or something like that???. Sorry I don't know any more.


    • #3
      Hi Jill,

      Just joined and saw your post. Hope this is still active. I don't know if this will help but I did have a related experience and have given it some thought. And sorry for the length.

      This spring I asked the same question of the Massachusetts MS society- does MS qualify for the mobility impaired division of Boston?. The person I spoke with acted as if no one had ever asked this before. Hard to believe. Her response was, "They can't do that or they will be overwhelmed", implying that people with MS would somehow have an unfair advantage. I think the variability of MS-related functional compromise does pose a challenge for defining appropriate impaired qualifying times: mild, isolated sensory symptomatology is very different from significant motor impairment. But the principle is not entirely unique to MS. She was not directly connected to the BAA so likely isn't entirely up to date. My direct inquiries to the BAA were not returned. Given this year's unique circumstances I can't really blame them.

      My impression is that "mobility impaired" at Boston is intended for those with impaired ambulation due to "physical disabilities" but not those with the same or even greater difficulties due to "disease". (MS plaques are of course physical, but that's beyond most conversations). One can download the criteria from the BAA web site - no mention of MS. Visual impairment is mentioned so maybe optic neuritis due to MS could qualify, but I suspect it would need to be severe and not "only" intermittent (not meaning to minimize intermittent ON). I just don't think MS or other "diseases" are on their radar but maybe that can change. It would certainly be more "fair" to recognize such conditions, especially because fund raising for MS and other illnesses is a significant activity at Boston.

      Most if not all the "Boston Marathon" info I found on the MS Society web site (and the Mass affiliate) dealt with fund raising. Understandable but they don't seem to recognize MS runners at all. Maybe I missed it. You would be a phenomenal "natural" for an MS Society fund raising number. As usual you must commit to a significant amount of $$$. I suspect you could get enough contributions though.

      I hope you're successful one way or another. I live along the course and ran Boston once (the 100th running long ago and long, long before MS) and, as everyone from the casual to the elite runners say, there is nothing like it. The crowds are simply amazing the full 26.2. You feel like the entire region, not just Boston is in your shoes every step of the way - and in 2014 it will probably feel like the entire world.

      I know you're a marathoner and triathlete but another option is the BAA 5K run every year the day before the marathon and crossing the same finish line (which will be especially significant next year). Many marathoners run the 5k as final preparation for the main event. (And then there's the Boston Midnight Marathon Bike Ride following the 26.2 course the night before the marathon - and well before the course is closed to traffic- but that's another story altogether -

      Good luck. I'll follow up if I find out anything more and let me know if I can do anything local to help.



      • #4
        Thanks for the info, hasbro Dave, and welcome aboard. - The other Dave
        Dave Bexfield


        • #5

          This article ( describes a woman with ms who planned to run Boston 2013 in the mobility impaired division and is found in a search of projected finishers. The article mentions sensory symptoms due to ms but doesn't mention motor symptoms or weakness. Presumably this means ms related symptoms qualify for the mobility impaired division despite your phone conversation with the BAA. I think you still need a result in an approved qualifying race but the qualifying time is slower.

          I read this awhile ago and can't believe I didn't notice/remember in my previous message. Sorry. I hope this is still useful to you and maybe to others.