Now that the new and revised Boston registration system is almost complete for Boston 2012 (and let me clarify that I am neither a qualifier nor registrant this year), I believe I can reveal the real reason the BAA changed the Boston Marathon registration and qualification scheme.
It was me. Oh, not me personally (although we can't really be sure of that, can we?), but my kind. The dreaded 45-year-old female. The category of runner that completely stole Boston from faster, more deserving (younger, maler) runners.
It is true. While a four hour marathon is the modest dream of every middle-of-the-pack runner of any age, for a 45-year-old female it was (up until now), a Boston Qualifying (BQ) time. Thus making me and my peers hated by most other Boston wannabees, particularly 40-year-old women (and younger), who had to run at least ten minutes faster to qualify, and of course, men of all ages. (Men could qualify with a four hour time at the age of 60.)
And obviously, last year the whole Boston registration system was completely brought down by hordes of mid-pace 45-49 year old women with credit cards and high motivation.** Necessitating the overhaul of registration and change in qualifying times.
I am, I freely admit, the worst of the worst. I exploited every qualification benefit that was available to me. I qualified at the age of 44 (for the Boston Marathon after my 45th birthday), I squeaked in just under the qualifying time (though not into the one-minute window), and I took registration morning off work so I could sit in front of my computer with my credit card until my registration was finally accepted.
Yes, you can blame me for the revolution. (Along with 1,592 other women.) You're welcome.
*In case it is not obvious, this is all untrue. A spoof, if you will. A hoax, if you won't.
**However, there were about 1000 more 45-49 year old male registrants than female.