Kevin Cave’s Story of Qualifying of Boston

Name: Kevin Cave

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’2

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 192

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Austin

Tell us a little about the race. I ran 30 miles a week to train. I read Runner’s World. I ran even. It was a great day. I wish I could do it again with present fitness.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 9 months

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 1,100

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? About 800 in 9 months

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 12

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

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I was four sport athlete and still played hoops, soccer, and cycled.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? No.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Run more. It makes you faster.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

Steve K’s Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon

Name: Steve K

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 26

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’7″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 140

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Ogden

Tell us a little about the race. 3rd marathon, wasn’t necessarily shooting for a BQ. The goal was a sub-3 in a marathon about 4 months later (which I achieved in 2:58). I came in at 3:10 and a few seconds, but this was before the rule tightening, so I qualified. This was the first marathon in which I experienced that I could keep up an aggressive pace in the face of extreme fatigue. My training was pretty simple – no speedwork, weights, yoga, etc. – just miles. I’ve since become more sophisticated.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 12 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3-4,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3

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

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? No

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Go get it! I had a physical therapist tell me that, due to sciatica, marathoning was probably out of the question going forward. 7 marathons later, I beg to differ. BQing was kind of a defiant move to prove that I could still do cool stuff with my body.

Matthew C’s Story of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Name: Matthew C

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 23

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 8″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 128

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? San Francisco 2017

Tell us a little about the race. Race started at 5:30am, weather was ~55F and overcast. My original plan was to stick with a 3:00 pacer the whole time, but due to some confusion at gear check I only got into my corral just as the gun went off for the first wave, and I was only able to work up to the 3:15 pacer before my wave started off. Luckily, I was able to find someone in the same situation hitting about my same pace. Finally caught up with the 3:00 pacer at halfway, and dropped the guy I was running with at mile 17. Luckily, things were strung out just right that I always had someone to reel in and pass through the rest of the race. After mile 20 the course was mostly downhill, which allowed me to open up a little easier and race the last 10k. Finished in 2:55:44 (~6:40 average).

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 10 years total (since middle school), but I only starting seriously training in the last 1.5-2 years.

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? ~2000 miles, probably.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? ~1470 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Four: two marathons (one DNF’d), a half marathon, a 5 miler

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Yes, Pfitzinger 12/70

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not particularly. The bulk of the training cycle was during summer rehearsals for marching band which was the most “cross training” I did. That did get me a little extra cardio and some work on supporting muscle groups, but I don’t think it was a key factor in my race performance.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Starting in week 4, the Pfitz plan called for Lactate Threshold runs once a week, then introduced VO2 Max sessions on the track. Both gave me practice running smooth and controlled but fast when my legs were tired, and some extra mental toughness from pushing through those workouts by myself. That definitely paid off in the last 10 miles or so of the race, when my legs were feeling fatigued from hills and the pack had strung out to the point that I was running solo.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? A big benefit I got from the plan I followed was the mid-long run in the middle of the week. Running 15 miles regularly on a weekday (and in the middle of summer, no less) really took some of the teeth off of the full long runs (18-21 miles), and by extension, the race itself.

Brent McDermott’s story of qualifying for Boston Marathon

Name: Brent McDermott

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’11”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Light At The End of The Tunnel

Tell us a little about the race. This was my second BQ attempt of the spring, the first being Glass City in Toledo. After a disappointing performance in Toledo- 3:20 after racing on a black-and-blue ankle from an injury the day before, I signed up for The Tunnel on a lark with nothing to lose. My original race plan called for a negative split of 1:37 / 1:33 to come in at 3:10, but at the halfway mark I was at 1:31:30 and gaining speed. My splits continued to speed up by a few seconds per mile until mile 22, when I posted my first 7:00+ since the opening 10K of the race. A persistent sidestitch / charlie horse led to me Galloway-ing for 1.5 miles, and averaging a 7:35 pace for miles 23 & 24. At that point I assumed my BQ chances were for naught, but with “the wall” in the rear view mirror, I pressed on, shooting for a PR. At the 26 mile mark, I realized that I still had a puncher’s chance of squeaking in under 3:05. I gave it everything I had for the last quarter, and stopped the clock at exactly 3:05:00, precisely the cutoff point for my age group. Barring a fluke with the BAA adjusted qualifying times, my application will be denied. That being said, the satisfaction of a BQ is much greater than I anticipated.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 12 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 15,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 8

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, The turning point in my training came when I went from averaging approx. 40 miles/wk. with ONE tempo run, 3x easy days, and ONE long run, to the following: ONE tempo run, ONE interval workout, ONE 10-12 mile progression run, 2-3 easy runs and ONE long run per week, taking my mileage into the mid-50s. Following this regiment in run up to a fall marathon in 2016, I shaved 16 minutes off my marathon PR, and then took another 11 minutes off to BQ at this race. The interval training, middle distance progression run seemed to have the biggest impact on my racing.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Nope. I did incorporate more hip strengthening exercises and foam rolling to keep limber.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. Once a week intervals (usually Yasso 800s) and once a week tempo runs of 6-7 miles with my running club improved my endurance, and lactic threshold.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? After experimenting with a few different training philosophies, I found something that worked for me, and committed to it. Getting faster didn’t happen overnight, but consistent training led to steady improvements.

How Matt Davies Qualified for Boston Marathon

Name: Matt Davies

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 28

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’6″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 179 Lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Calgary Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. I came in to the race with three goals
A sub-3
B hit the BQ standard
C PR (3:10:40).

The race weekend doubled as the Canadian half marathon championships, in addition to hosting a 50km road Ultra there was a special Canada 150km road race so the start line was packed.

Overall the race went according to plan, I ran basically the first 40 minutes in a big group of marathoners and 50km people and stuck around the 90 minute half marathoners until we branched off.

The pace felt comfortable all the way up to about km 36 when we were out and exposed on a little out and back. The heat and fatigue finally caught up to me.

Not panicking though I dropped my pace ever so slightly and knew I could get into the finish under my B goal time. Passed about a dozen people in the last two km’s which felt good.

Chip 3:02:53
Gun 3:03:03
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? About two and a half years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? About 4500 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1003 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3 (two half’s and a 5km)

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, hard days hard, easy days easy

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really, I tried to get to the gym a couple times a week but nothing serious or committed.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes.

A lot of work at Marathon pace and a lot of short intervals @ 5km/10km pace.

This really made marathon pace feel comfortable on race day.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Put in the work. You won’t see results from one good workout but put together 12-18 weeks of solid work with proper recovery and you will really surprise yourself.

Corbin’s story of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

At 17, Corbin might be the youngest BQ(Q) entry ever.

Name: Corbin

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 17

Height (at the time of first BQ): 6’0″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 155

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Bayshore Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. This was my second marathon and it took place on a very pleasant day for northern Michigan. Mid 50’s at the start with little wind. The course is quite flat with just a couple small rolling hills. I kept right on 7:00/mile pace for the first 13. Then I put down about 10 miles at 6:40 to 6:50 pace simply due to feeling good. Of course that caught up to me for the last few, which were closer to 8 minute miles, but I still finished under 3:03.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 5 Years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 2500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 5

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 Focused on high mileage, ran modified work outs with the track team

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

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

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I was part of my high school track team at the time. I ran most of my speed workouts with them, often just doubling the workout’s distance while running at a slightly slower pace.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I think an essential part of BQ training is consistency. Running almost everyday for months before the race and getting up to the high mileage weeks are more important than any single workout or long run.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Dave Huntzinger

Name: Dave Huntzinger

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 31

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’9″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 155

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago

Tell us a little about the race. I had run the race once before–two years earlier–and was just trying to finish. I used the Hansons-Brooks training method both times. Lucked out on the weather both times as well, Chicago can be unpredictable in October. The first time I ran a 3:17, the second was a 2:58.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 15 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? No idea. Thousands?

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? I’d say I averaged about 40 miles a week.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2

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

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Hansons-Brooks

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No. Although I played a good bit of full court basketball in the months leading up to full training.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really, my training program started off with 16x400m workouts with 400m jog recovery. The distance of these workouts (both in intervals and total volume) steadily increased until the two weeks prior to the race. Examples of the later workouts were 2 mile warmup, 3 miles at 1 min faster than race pace, mile off, 3 miles at 1 min faster than race pace, 3-4 mile cooldown. These were usually done Tuesdays, followed by a tempo run at just under goal race pace on Thursdays.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I’d highly recommend doing a smaller marathon before you’re trying to BQ. Maybe one with less logistical challenges, smaller entry fees, etc. Use a similar, if not identical training plan for both races and give yourself at least 3-4 months in between marathons. If you must do some races keep them to 5-10ks.