The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Andy B

Name: Andy B

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 19

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 135

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago 2010

Tell us a little about the race. This was my first marathon, and came about in the year where I first raced distances more than 5 miles in length. Managed to qualify for the A corral at a half marathon early in the summer, and thereafter focused more on building an aerobic base than on hitting workouts (i.e. primary goal was to increase my mileage). Living in Chicago at the time made this as logistically easy as a race could be (wake up early, hop on train, walk to start). Ran the first half too fast and had a quite substantial positive split (1:21 and 1:30 – oof!), but still managed to finish under my goal of 3:00 with some room to spare.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Sporadically for 5 years, 1.5 years focused

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? 1200

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, Likely something pulled from Hal Higdon’s website

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really; I biked a little, but I didn’t consider it as part of my marathon plan.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? For this one, no (unless you count work done prior to training for this race specifically)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I think if I had trained like I did further out from my high school running days I wouldn’t have been within sniffing distance of 3 hours. I’ve had much better races after incorporating tempo and interval work into my training. Also have had more success at racing shorter distances, which I see as having gone hand-in-hand with improved marathon performance. Taking a step back from the marathon and focusing on shorter distances (5-10km) has also helped me a lot.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Justin J

Name: Justin J.

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 37

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 162

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? St. Jude Memphis Marathon 2019

Tell us a little about the race. I ran a 2:49:06. It was my first marathon so I don’t have anything to compare it to in terms of other marathons. The weather was perfect, around 40F and totally overcast with no wind to speak of. The course is pretty fast with just a few rolling hills and a couple of small overpasses. It is my hometown marathon so I was pretty familiar with most of the course and had ran different parts of the course over the years. I went out conservatively since it was my first marathon and ended up negative splitting by a little more than a minute. Felt strong until the last 5K when I could tell I was running out of fuel. I took 4 Gu’s during the race and should probably have taken one more. My goals were (A) finish healthy, (B) qualify for Boston, (C) sub 2:55. So I was very happy to hit them all.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? I ran track and played other sports in HS, but didn’t run more than 3 consecutive miles until 2010.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 4000 miles?

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1700ish

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Several (5 half marathons, 6 5Ks, 4miler, 5miler, 10K, 10miler)

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, I didn’t follow any plan, but I tried to average 60-65 miles during the weeks I didn’t race and 40-50 during the weeks I did race. During non-race weeks I would run 6 or 7 days a week with one 8-10 mile tempo, one long run (18 to 23 miles) and one speed day with 400 or 800 repeats, and easy days between. Race weeks were similar but without the speed work and usually a shorter long run and a day off.

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 started my training cycle with weight lifting, plyo and drills, but stopped cross training around 4 months before my marathon.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Speed work definitely played a role, but I think doing so many races was even more important because it is so hard to simulate a race during training.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? For me, the key was upping my mileage by slowing down. I had always ran too fast on all my runs so it was impossible for me to get in the amount of mileage necessary to feel confident to cover 26.2. What’s funny, is that when I slowed down and added mileage, I was able to not only run a marathon, but I PR’d at every distance other than the 5K. That’s my next goal.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Tom C

Name: Tom C

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 31

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 153

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Phoenix/ Mesa Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. This was my first marathon after dropping down from ultras. I originally ran 2:54 on a whim at the American Discovery Trail Marathon back in 2011, but didn’t come back to the thon for several years due to competing in ultras and in general just running trails all the time. I did a decent 12 week buildup with my mileage peaking around 60 including multiple 20+ mile long runs, threshold work, and 1k – 2 mi repeats. I loosely followed the HOKA Naz Elite training plan on Final Surge which I purchased.
The race was okay. I was out in under 1:20 for the half with a goal of breaking 2:45 which seemed reasonable. Right after the half the wheels came off. Breathing was fine since I live and train at ‘6300, but my legs weren’t ready to run 6:10s. I ended up finishing in 2:50, which I was lucky to get given how badly I blew up.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Since age 12. I ran competitively in high school and D1 in college

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? A lot. But I took six years off of running after college.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2300

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10

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, I loosely followed Hoka NAZ elite’s advanced training program. Basically, if I can get my mileage up and do a tempo per week I’ll do okay. I mix these in with a lot of strides after easy runs.

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? A little. But I find that repeats less than 800 don’t really lend well to marathon training.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? If you BQ in the Vaporfly, you cheated.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Garrick Chan

Name: Garrick Chan

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 138

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago Marathon 2019

Tell us a little about the race. Marathon debut. I ran the first half in 1:17:20 and then I somehow negative split the 2nd half by running 1:16:53. I ran my first marathon in 2:34:13, which qualified me for Boston 2021.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 17 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? I do not know.

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? I do not know.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 12 races before marathon, 2 races after marathon

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?  I have a coach and I followed his plan.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I didn’t cross train.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? There was little speed work in my training for the marathon. I do believe that lowering your times in shorter distances can help you in longer distances.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Surround yourself with the right people and implement a strong work ethic. You will reach your goal of a BQ if you do those things.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — David

Name: David

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 54

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 170

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

Tell us a little about the race. Small rolling hills but otherwise fast flat course. weather was light rain and lower 50’s light wind 5-10mph.Set out at 7:45-7:50 pace and felt good through mile 18.Slowed a bit but rejuvenated on a downhill section and ran my fastest the last 3 miles(7:20-7:25)

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 11 months

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 1800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1800

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3-1 half and 2 5k’s

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? no

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? some 400m and 800m intervals

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Had not started running to run marathons but to get in shape for 5k’s. Then started piling on the mileage and didn’t want those to go to waste, so set a marathon goal before the end of my first year of running.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Danny Horgan

Name: Danny Horgan

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 29

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’1

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Bay State Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. The conditions were great — a little windy, but nice and cool. Because the race was part of the USATF-NE Grand Prix, a lot of sub 2:40 runners lined up to race. Those two factors led to a fast, competitive morning,

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? In high school, then about four years after returning to running at 25 years old.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 10,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,600

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? No, Train around the clock. You can only run for so many hours each week (especially when you haven’t built up to high mileage), so you need to find ways to get fitter when you aren’t running. Sauna sessions, hip mobility drills, zero junk food, etc.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? In more ways than I can list. For example, sauna sessions helped me stay adapted to the heat well into the fall.

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? Mentally prepare yourself to do things on race day you’ve never done in training. Insecurity leads a lot of people to run their longest training runs way too hard, leaving them spent for race day. Be strong enough to know that you can put everything together when it really counts.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Josh Falk

Name: Josh Falk

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height (at the time of first BQ): 6′

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 162

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

Tell us a little about the race. Didn’t feel too much until mile 23 – everything went pretty much according to plan. Had originally planned on hitting 6:40 pace but 6:45s were feeling really good and so I just went with it, knowing that that pace still gave me some wiggle room to BQ.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 13

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 20,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 4

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, 1 long run a week, 1 speed session a week. Rest recovery/run how I felt miles.

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

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

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

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Uninterrupted/injury free training is the key to improvement. It is much smarter to slowly build up volume and intensity to let your body adjust – marathon training will expose your weaknesses.

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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).

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire –SMQ

Name: SMQ

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 29

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5.7

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 158

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

Tell us a little about the race. I had tried and failed a few times. I had no training program and was just trying to do it on my own, and on my own athletic (or lack of) ability. I missed a BQ 3 times by less than 2 minutes. I started doing intervals on a track and one day did 20 by 800m. Every time I didn’t do a 3 minute 800M, I added one. The plan was 16, and I had to do 20. I don’t even have a log of my mileage, but would say max 48-50 miles a week. I was patient and reserved and it all came together. I will never forget the moment I saw my wife and mom leaning over the barricade cheering me on in the last 400m. They, as always, we a nervous mess. I finally came through and made it count. I have run 4 Bostons since then, and that first ever BQ is my most favorite race ever. I am emotional even as I type this. Maybe I have one more in me. No, I do have another one.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 4 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3000 miles / approx

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 4

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, I could never follow a program, it would take away from the flow. I realize that is not for everyone. Do you own thing and what feels good.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? My cross training was seriously red wine. No joke.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Introducing 800’s was a serious game changer for me. I realized that there was “work” that had to be done… not just winging it.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it right.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Dejan Petrovic

Name: Dejan Petrovic

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):  27

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6 feet

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145.5

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Zagreb 2009

Tell us a little about the race. Flat as a pan in my hometown. Coming of from great winter and summer high altitude camp I smashed it with my first sub 3h. PR of 12mins.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 4y

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? ~1200

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

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 marathon, dozen or more halfs.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Just ordinary program. 1 long run on weekends, 2 hard runs (usually fartleks) during the week. Almost all my long runs were uphill.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Maybe. Had knee injury year before so had to do lot of rehab during the winter.

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

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? No such thing as junk miles.

 

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