The rumors of the Boston Marathon beginning at 10 o’clock in the morning rather than at noon next year have now been confirmed. There will also be the same wave start system that was employed this year, where half of the field begins at 10 am and the other half of the field begins at 10:30 am. Registration opens up next Wednesday, September 6th.
I think that this is going to go a long way towards making the race easier. The course itself is not particularly difficult; you just need to be careful in the beginning to not let the slope down take you too quickly or you will have some really sore quads when you get to the minor hills later in the race. The real difficulty in the Boston Marathon has been the heat. This year I did not run, but the weather was perfect and everybody had a lot of fun. The couple of years prior, however, it was extremely hot by noon and one in the afternoon. For New England in April, it is very difficult to train for that sort of weather, especially for those of us who live north of Boston.
Of course, the earlier starting time probably means that there is going to be a blizzard during the race next year, which would also be in character for New England weather and would also satisfy Moore’s law.
I am not sure yet if I am going to run it again this year or not. I ran an easy qualifying time on Memorial Day weekend at the Vermont City Marathon, but I’d prefer to run a new state. I am not sure that I will have the finances to travel for a race that is not next door, though. Qualifying times for next year’s Boston Marathon had to have been run since September 24th, 2005. To qualify for the 2008 Boston Marathon, you need to run a qualifying time after September 23rd of this year.