The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Most Popular Marathons

I started this post thinking it’d be interesting to see at which marathons BQ(Q) respondents tended to qualify.

Here is what I learned – people BQ all over the damn place.

Of the 162 responses I have posted so far, runners have qualified at roughly 102 different marathoners.* In a world where a small number of marathons get the most attention, that’s pretty remarkable.

image (7)

The vast majority of the marathons were named by only one runner. However, a couple of marquee races were named by multiple respondents –12 people qualified at the New York City Marathon, 11 at Chicago and 11 at Baystate (widely considered one of the best marathoners for BQ).

After that it trails off to ones and twos. I’m not sure if NYCM, Chicago and Bay State are any faster, more likely, they’re just very popular.

What can we learn from this data? I’m not sure. Perhaps that it isn’t worth your time trying to cherry pick the right marathon; you can qualify just about anywhere.


*This count is a bit rough since its possible people are using different names for the same marathon.

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