The first step in filling the 2014 Boston Marathon field begins today.
Starting at 10 a.m. ET and continuing through Aug. 29, registration will be open for the 5,633 people who ran in this year’s Boston Marathon but were not able to finish because of the terrorist bombing incident.
Those runners will not need to submit a valid qualifying time, but they will need to pay a $325 entry fee. They will be able to enter a qualifying time later between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1, 2014, but it is not required to gain entry to the 2014 race. If those runners do not enter during that period, they will have the chance the enter through the qualified runner registration or through a charity.
The 2014 Boston Marathon will be held on April 21. Although final details have not yet been announced, it is believed the Boston Athletic Association is working with the city of Boston and the villages along the course to expand the size of the field. Boston police commissioner Ed Davis recently said that an additional 9,000 runners would be added to the field. However, as of Aug. 18, the BAA website acknowledges that no decision has been made about the field size, including qualified and invitational entries or how the potential 5,633 deferred runners might play into that equation.
Typically, the Boston Marathon has a field of 27,000 runners, of which about 22,000 are qualified runners who have reached the race’s strict qualifying standards. Another 5,000 runners receive entry to the race through accredited charity programs or through sponsors exemptions.
If 9,000 runners are added to the 2014 field, it could potentially raise the total to about 36,000 — close to the record set at the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. That year, there were 38,708 entrants, 36,748 official starters and 35,868 finishers.
Registration for qualified runners will open in September, although no specific date has not yet been announced on the BAA website yet.
An announcement about the 2014 field size and qualified runner registration dates are expected in the next two weeks.
Qualified runners in the 2014 Boston Marathon must meet the designated time standard that corresponds with their age group and gender. Qualifying performances must be met in a certified marathon on or after September 22, 2012, and up until registration closes. Last year, registration for qualified runners remained open until the entire field was filled in early October.