I just read the news release about the newly adopted Boston Marathon registration procedure for 2012 and new qualifying times beginning 2011. All I can say is, I'm lucky that I qualified for 2011 and got registered, because from now forward the chance of my qualifying or getting in has decreased immensely!
In case the link doesn't work well (I had trouble opening it myself), here are the deets.
For 2012 (and presumably thereafter), the Boston Marathon will have a two-week rolling registration period. In 2012 the actual qualifying times will remain the same as present. For the first two days of registration (beginning September 12, 2011), only persons who have marathon times that are at least 20 minutes faster than their qualifying time will be allowed to register. Then for the next two days people who have times that are ten minutes faster can register. For the remainder of the first week, people who have run five minutes faster than qualifying time may register.
In the second week of registration, if there are any spots left, anyone who has a qualifying time may register. However, at the end of that week the available spots will be awarded to the fastest applicants in their age and gender pool. Following the two week registration period, if there are still any spots open, any qualified applicant may register, on a first come, first served basis.
Beginning with 2013, the qualifying times will be lowered by five minutes (and 59 seconds, eliminating the 59 second grace period) in every age group. I assume the same registration process will be in effect.
So I think it's fair to say, the Boston Marathon will no longer be an option for 45-year-old-slightly-ahead-of-the-middle-of-the-pack females. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. I do feel horribly sorry for runners who qualified in the fall of 2010 and opted to hold off to 2012 to enter, as it looks like it will be a lot harder to claim their places!