Below is all you need to know to maximise your chances of gaining a start in Boston:

Rob de Castella ran 2:07:51 to win the 1986 Boston marathon

Vital points

  • Registration for the 2020 Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 9, 2019 at 10 a.m via the Boston Marathon website.
  • The faster your time the earlier you get to register.
  • April 20 is the scheduled date for the 2020 race.
  • Once entries open on September 9, the first 48 hours are reserved for those with marathon qualifying times of 20 minutes or more faster than the qualifying standard for their age category.
  • Then at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, registration opens for those who are 10 or more minutes faster than their qualifying time for their respective age category.
  • Finally, on September 13, runners who have met the qualifying standard by five or more minutes are allowed to enter. Registration then closes from Saturday afternoon until Monday.
  • In the unlikely event that spots in the 30,000-person field remains, then registration reopens at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 16. Then, anyone with a qualifying time can apply for entry. At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, registration closes.

Some tips of succeeding

  • It’s impossible to know how much faster than your qualifying standard you will most likely have to run to gain selection. But as a guide; for the 2019 race, runners needed to better their age and gender standard by at least 4:52 to gain selection. So, get training.
  • Because of the high number of runners left on the sidelines, the BAA changed the qualifying standards for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Across all age groups for both genders, runners must now be 5 minutes faster than the previous qualifying standards.
  • Runners younger than 18 aren’t allowed to register for the marathon. A runner’s age on the day of the 2020 marathon is the one that determines what age group standard that runner must meet.
  • The qualification window for the 2020 Boston Marathon began on Saturday, September 15, 2018 and the qualifying period will remain open until the conclusion of registration.
  • Net times ( from when a runner crossed the start line to when the runner crossed the finish line) are used for qualifying standards.
  • All qualifying marathons must be certified by that country’s athletic federation.
  • There are a few thousand entries saved for those who donate a substantial amount to charity. These applicants enter via the charity, not via


18-34 3hrs 00min 00sec 3hrs 30min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 20min 00sec 3hrs 50min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 35min 00sec 4hrs 05min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 50min 00sec 4hrs 20min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 05min 00sec 4hrs 35min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 20min 00sec 4hrs 50min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 35min 00sec 5hrs 05min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 50min 00sec 5hrs 20min 00sec


The qualifying window for the 2020 Boston Marathon began on Saturday, September 15, 2018, and will continue through the conclusion of 2020 Boston Marathon registration.

Good luck all

Ryan Hall Leads the 2011 Boston Marathon