The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Matt

Name: Matt

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 60

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Toronto Waterfront

Tell us a little about the race. Was never really in doubt. Slowed down midway so as to not mess it up.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 2 years (after an extremely long layoff)

Did you run in college or high school? No

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

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2200

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? No, Day to day decisions based on feel stressing more miles.

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? Set a long term goal and grind out weekly miles.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Bernard Whitmore

This is a really cool one. At sixty years old, with sixty thousand miles in his legs, Bernard finally ran Boston…

Name: Bernard Whitmore

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):  60

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 10″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 142

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

Tell us a little about the race. Through my 20’s I tried to qualify and got as low as a 2hr 52min PR (Cape Cod). Perhaps frustrated that I still hadn’t BQ’d I faded from racing for a few decades while I dealt with uncontrolled/undiagnosed epilepsy.

When the BM bombing happened I took I took it personally and vowed to get back in marathon shape. It took years, but thinking I might die before running BM I took a charity number and ran. And qualified for the next year.

Last year was my 4th, 42 minutes under BQ time. This year I’ll be 66 on the day of the Boston Marathon and I’m fighting my way back from 3 broken metatarsals. Stay tuned!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 40 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 60,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

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, IRONMAN TRIATHLON TRAINING PLAN

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Bicycling keeps me cross-trained

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really – not on the track any way. I just make sure all my longer runs are negative split.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t lose weight training for it. Keep healthy and utilize recovery nutrition (Protein powders, BCAA’s etc).

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The BQ(Q) – Tim Healy

Thirty eight years of running and then a BQ! Congrats Tim!

Name

Tim Healy

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

60

Height:

6′         

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

148

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Erie Marathon

Tell us a little about the race.

The last date to qualify for the following year. Course is flat and fast, said to be the flattest qualifying course (though some are net downhill). Two loop course in a state park peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. Beautiful views.

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

38 years.

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

No clue, but 1000s of miles

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

1300

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

8-12 including triathlons.

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, Higdons “running consecutive marathons plan”. I had done a full ironman just seven weeks prior, so training was not optimal with the limited recovery so I just trained to qualify, not to run my fastest time.

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

No

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

As an ironman athlete, I train regularly in swim, bike and strength training as well as yoga and meditation. They help me remain injury free.

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

Absolutely. Track workouts weekly as well as weekly tempo runs.

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

Aside from the obvious need to train as efficiently as possible while remaining injury free, you must choose your BQ race wisely. Flat course, not too crowded on a cool day. Train to run an even BQ pace. Don’t expect to do anything on race day that you haven’t been able to do during training.

The BQ(Q) – Don G

While I figure out how to balance raising a tiny human with working, logging miles and not losing my mind, here’s a BQ(Q) from Don G.  Thanks for taking the time to fill this out, Don!

Name: Don G

Sex: Male

Age: 61

Height: 5 11

Weight 175

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.

Spinx Run Fest in Greenville, SC in Oct 2012.  This was my second marathon in 9 weeks.  Epic fail at Quebec marathon in August (heat and over exuberance).  Goal was no longer to run fastest marathon, simply a BQ-5.  Finish time was 3:47:30 for a 3:55 BQ.  Ran a controlled pace from the start with splits of 1:52:30 and 1:55:00

 

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

 

I had two running lives.  The first was in my early 30’s and lasted about 6 years.  During that time I ran 3 marathons, including my PR of 3:01 which was also my first.  My pursuit of a BQ during that time included a fail at Marine Corp in 1982 and then a DNS at the Citrus Bowl in 1986 due to illness, after which came a 22 year hiatus.  I began running again in 2008 when DS began running xcountry and track in HS.  Had no intention of running another marathon, much less a BQ attempt until DS ran his first marathon at the age of 18 in a time of 2:42.  He was going to Boston and I wanted to go with him.  Quebec would have made the cut-off for 2013 but as noted above that wasn’t to be, but made the grade for 2014.  DS re-qualified so 2014 will be our year together.

 

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

14,000 ish.  9,000 or so in the 80’s and then 4,500 since 2009

 

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

1,484

 

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?

Used Pfitz 18/55 as a base for Quebec (meaning I followed it loosely) and used Higdon’s 8 weeks between marathons for Spinx.

 

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

Most weeks included some speed work – tempo runs, or 800s.

 

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

My BQ was 30 years in the making – it is never too late.

 

Running a BQ requires two main elements – genetics and desire.  Unfortunately we have no control over that first one, which determines how fast we can run and our propensity towards injury.  Of course we can greatly influence these, but only within the limits of the inherited ability.  The second is simply how bad do you want it; how hard are you willing to work?  Some will have so much of the first that little of the second is needed.  But many more will be right on the cusp – where training and dedication will be the prime determinants of their BQ attempt(s).  These are the true champions of the BQ.