Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Dave M

Name: Dave M

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 28

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 170

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Colorado Marathon (Fort Collins, CO)

Tell us a little about the race. Great course: point to point with a large net downhill. It is at altitude though, so if you’re not from the mountains could be a struggle. Really pretty course though, with most along the Cache la Poudre river. Race went exactly to plan, going out faster the first half and then hanging on for the flatter last 6-7 miles.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 14 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 16,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 0

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, up to 90 mile weeks. Some speed work thrown in. Long runs up to 24 miles. Just lots of consistency. Strength is the key to the marathon.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Only when hurt. I would ride my bike

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, lots of tempos and some intervals. My key workout was a 10 mile tempo straight into 6 x 800m on the track at slightly below goal marathon pace. That was a killer workout.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I signed up for Boston after my first qualifying, but didn’t get to run due to injury. 10 years later and I just qualified again last year (at the Lake Place Marathon). So I’m signed up for Boston 2020, and trying to stay healthy this time. More recently I’ve been doing very little speed work (mostly just occasional tempo runs). Just trying to get good base and hitting my long runs pretty hard.

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Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Chris

Name: Chris

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 52, about a week before turning 53

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 165

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. Beautiful day, temperature was good. I ran nice and even splits, planning to hold 7:45 pace. Stayed on point with my nutrition during the race, avoided the wall and gutted it out for the last 5k. I executed my plan pretty well and was just slightly off my planned pace, ending with 7:52 pace per mile. Wanted to be under the BQ by 5 minutes, missing it by 9 seconds. Finished with a marathon PR of 3:25:08.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 26 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? About 22,000 miles. I started a running log in 1989

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

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Marathons? 13, including 1 Ironman.

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, Be Iron Fit, an Ironman training program, and a Nike Advanced 16-week marathon 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? Training for an Ironman was without a doubt the most important aspect of my ability to become a better runner. It made me a much more well-rounded athlete and runner. I lost weight, didn’t just overtax my legs, and supplemented my running ability through building additional strength through cycling.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? The plan definitely had speed work built into it, but more important to my success was training by HR and staying in the appropriate zones.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? In a nutshell here’s what got me a BQ:
1. I stopped winging it and started following a plan.
2. I became a triathlete and Ironman and became a much more well-rounded athlete.
3. I learned how to fuel myself from Ironman and applied it to the marathon.
4. I started a running streak a year and 10 months prior to my BQ. It helped my body adapt to the workload and made me stronger.
5. Lastly, I was patient and got to the point age-wise where my abilities finally met the Boston standards.

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Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Paul D

Name: Paul D

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 56

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? Mesa-Phoenix

Tell us a little about the race. The course was a net downhill. The weather was perfect. I ran with a friend that was shooting for the same time. He fell off the pace before 15 miles which sucked since he was the keeper of the time and had the wrist band with the per mile pace goals. I was running with my iPhone and Apple watch. They died before I had gone 12 miles. I ran the 2nd 1/2 of the race totally by feel and BQ’d with an extra 3.5 minutes. I knew I was close to a BQ so I pushed hard for the last 10K ( at least I thought I had even though the last 10K were actually a tad slower).

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,200

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2 marathons one 1/2 marathon and a 50K

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, Nike Run Club App.

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. But now I’m doing pushups to improve core and upper body strength.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Definitely! I did track workouts just about every Wednesday and tempo runs on Friday.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I never thought a BQ would be possible. I went from couch to marathon in less than a year. My first Marathon was 4:35 the second was 3:58, The next was 3:41:30 (1.5 minutes short of a BQ) . At that point I started to believe a BQ was possible. For my first two marathons I simply ran miles and got up to 80 miles a week. I actually dropped back on my mileage (50-60) and added speed work to get my BQ. I never stop until I’m at the top of the hill. I never cut a corner, and I always ran a little farther and a little faster than the plan specified. I did that so I would know that I did all that was required and more to hit that goal and had no reason to doubt myself. That plus I spent a lot of time determining and analyzing what pace I needed to run and how much weight I needed to lose to achieve the pace I wanted to hit. I got down to a low of 156 (158 at race time ) which seems heavy compared to the weight of a lot of the people that I’ve seen in this survey, but I managed to pull it off. I hope to have a 6+ minute pr when I run Boston 2020 I’m using the Boston Marathon Level 3 training plan this time around and have been doing 100+ pushups a day to add some upper body and core strength.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Kurt Stolberg

Name: Kurt Stolberg

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 33

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’5″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 199 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mississauga Marathon (Canada)

Tell us a little about the race. 21st marathon, 20th BQ attempt. 2 key changes:

1. Finally diagnosed with an allergy to ‘the environment’, so proper drugs helped me not breathe through a straw for the last 2-15km of the past few marathons. Couple that with a decent mileage base and #2,
2. Improved my cadence over 14 months preceding, from 158spm to 170spm. tip: whatever cadence you have, don’t let it slip as you get tired.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 14 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 11,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,185 miles

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, Loosely based on Hal Higdon Adv 1, but adapted for run-commuting (lots of 8 milers)

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 – it just gets in the way (hockey, canoeing, hiking)

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – got my vo2max up 4 pts in 3 months preceding the race

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Never quit! If you love running, just keep enjoying it, keep tweaking things, reading, researching, improving, rehabilitating after injuries, etc and with enough drive, anyone can get there if this late-in-range (33 year old, so sub-3) heavyweight (2.6lbs per inch) with 3 knee surgeries and many failed BQ attempts can.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Megan Stoddard

Name: Megan Stoddard

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 24

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’1

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 115

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? REVEL Big Bear

Tell us a little about the race. Extremely downhill course – weather was perfect!

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? 2000

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

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,

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 remain the worst at cross training

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly interval/threshold/tempo runs

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

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Alice N

Name: Alice N

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 23

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’4”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 128

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Edinburgh, UK

Tell us a little about the race. Flat/net downhill. A good London alternative but a little dull

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 18 months

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 1500?

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

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? 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? Some weight training

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? I think I was probably naturally gifted to a certain extent as I didn’t train very hard

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Emily J

Name: Emily J

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 30

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 115 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll – Dec 2019

Tell us a little about the race. Ended up being perfect weather, and the course was great — nice variety including through downtown and the historic Pearl district, followed by a nice scenic route through a paved nature trail — really highlighted the awesome parts of San Antonio. Great support from locals who were really energetic and inspirational!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 7 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 9500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2050

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1

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, once weekly long run (17+) and other days ran 6-12 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? don’t underestimate the importance of an adequate taper and carbo loading starting 2 weeks before! I never ran as fast as I did during the actual marathon and I think it’s because I was always running on tired legs and at a relative calorie deficit prior to that point. Made such a difference being refreshed and metabolically recharged on the day of the race.

 

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