The BQ(Q) – John L Kelley

A great response from a John Kelly was BQ’ed but not the John Kelley who won Boston in 1957 or the Kelley who won in 1934 and 1945. Thanks John for taking part!


John L Kelly



Age (at the time of first BQ):




Weight (at the time of first BQ):


At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Columbus, Ohio

Tell us a little about the race.

The temperature was just below freezing, maybe 28F. I wore a jacket and tights during the race.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?

6 or 7 years

Did you run in college or high school?


What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?

6,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?

1,500 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?


Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

No, long run on Saturday, increased 2 miles a week until reaching 20. 4 miles M-F easy.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?


Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?


Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

I would run ‘hard’ on Wednesdays.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

I did not qualify during my first three attempts in 1992 (age 31), 1993 and 1994, missing the qualifying time by a few minutes each time (needed 3:10 and ran 3:12, 3:11, and 3:18 before a 3:10 in 1995), so I would say learn from previous marathon experiences and it might take several years of training. What I learned was do not ever think you are going to qualify until you see the finish line – meaning, don’t ever increase your pace thinking all is well – just keep a steady pace from beginning to end. I would also say that I was able to qualify in my late 30s and 40s relatively easily but now in my 50s, I am having a difficult time (once again) qualifying. I’ve run 3 marathons since turning 50 (2012, 2013 and 2015) and have not had a qualifying time.


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