What marathons can I run to qualify for the Boston Marathon?

What marathons can I run to qualify for the Boston Marathon?

It is never too early to start planning for the 2023 or 2024 Boston Marathon, especially if you plan to qualify. As many of us do, you could run for one of the many participating charities, but what about attempting to qualify? What are the marathons typically used to get that elusive but not guaranteed spot as a Boston Marathon qualifier? 

Registration for 2022 Boston Marathon happened in November of 2021 but was not standard due to the pandemic. The registration date for qualifying times is typically in September, using times captured for 12 months before that and has not been announced yet. However, based on this, the qualifying window for the 127th Marathon began on September 1, 2021, and will run through September of 2022.

What are the top 10 marathons for Boston Marathon qualifiers?

Let's start with all of the marathons that people have used to qualify in the past. Using MarathonGuide as the source, I jumped back to the 2019 season to show the top 10 races pre-pandemic, although 2022 & 2021 were very similar with smaller field sizes.

1. Boston Marathon (4/15/19 - Boston, MA) - 8,878

2. Chicago Marathon (10/13/19 - Chicago, IL) - 5,785

3. New York City Marathon (11/3/19 - New York City, NY) - 4,938

4. California International Marathon (12/8/19 - Sacramento, CA) - 2,183

5. Philadelphia Marathon (11/24/19 - Philadelphia, PA) - 1,149

6. Grandma's Marathon (6/22/19 - Duluth, MN) - 1,072

7. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (11/9/19 - Indianapolis, IN) - 903

8. Houston Marathon (1/20/19 - Houston, TX) - 829

9. St. George Marathon (10/5/19 - St. George, UT) - 622

10. Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (5/26/19 - Ojai, CA) - 542


What are the best marathons to run to qualify? 

FindMyMarathon puts together a list of the top 50 marathons to run to qualify for Boston each year. Here are the top 10 from the list.

  1. REVEL Big Bear Marathon 
  2. California International Marathon
  3. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
  4. Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon
  5. Glass City Marathon
  6. Jack and Jill’s Downhill Marathon (WA) 
  7. Carmel Marathon 
  8. REVEL Mt. Lemmon Marathon – Limited Edition 
  9. Cheap Marathon
  10. Woodlands Marathon 

What are the races suggested by the BAA to qualify?

The BAA also has a published list of races. Many of them are listed above or on my bucket list.

  • Boston Marathon
  • Chicago Marathon
  • New York City Marathon
  • California International Marathon
  • Philadelphia Marathon
  • Erie Marathon
  • Mountains 2 Beach Marathon
  • REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon
  • Berlin Marathon
  • Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
  • Twin Cities Marathon
  • London Marathon
  • St George Marathon
  • Richmond Marathon
  • Grandma's Marathon
  • Ottawa Marathon
  • Phoenix Marathon
  • Baystate Marathon
  • REVEL Big Cottonwood Marathon
  • Lehigh Valley Via Marathon
  • Steamtown Marathon
  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • Mohawk Hudson River Marathon
  • Jack and Jill's Downhill Marathon
  • Bayshore Marathon

Which of these races have you run? 

What Can I Do to Get Ready for the 2023 Boston Marathon?

We've compile the ultimate guide to the 2023 Boston Marathon as a great place to get ready for your journey. You can also check out our list of over 100 free marathon training plans as well.

Make sure you have all of the latest gear with Boston Marathon on it! You can start with the best selling Boston Marathon merch on Amazon, get the official Boston Marathon gear, or start each morning with Boston Finisher coffee!

We also have a great list of gifts for that runner in your life on our list of top gifts for Boston Marathon runners post.

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Training for the Boston Marathon? 

Why not start each morning with the coffee for Boston Finishers? Boston Finisher is a medium roast ground coffee perfect for getting you going each morning.


Photo by Capstone Events on Unsplash  




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