Contact Info:
Boston Office (Administration)
185 Dartmouth Street
6th floor
Boston MA 02116

Frequently Asked Questions

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Registration for the Boston Marathon typically opens in early September, approximately seven months before the race. The B.A.A. uses a process to register runners which allows the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group to register first.


Official Entrants receive:

  • Admission to the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo
  • Long sleeved t-shirt
  • Bib number
  • An official result from an electronically recorded official timing system
  • Runner Gear Check bag
  • Boston Marathon Official Program
  • Complimentary ticket for the Pre-Race Pasta Dinner
  • Complimentary transportation to the start
  • Access to the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, providing entertainment, light refreshments, Poland Spring water, Gatorade Endurance Formula, ClifBar products, bagels, tenting, and portable toilets.
  • Water and Gatorade Endurance Formula along the course
  • First aid / medical facilities along the course and at the finish area
  • Athlete tracking
  • A finisher’s medal upon finishing the marathon (to be considered an official finisher, you must cross the finish line on Boylston Street prior to finish mats being removed) 
  • Baggage and dressing area (no showers)
  • Massage
  • Family meeting area
  • Admission to the Awards Ceremony
  • Complimentary ticket for the Post-Race Party
  • Results postcard providing all 5km split information, official and net times
  • Finisher’s certificate (mailed during the summer)
  • Results book (mailed over the summer)

Historically, runners who beat their qualifying standard by a larger amount of time are more likely to be accepted into the Boston Marathon. Due to field size limitations, as well as a hightened interest in participation, a "cut-off" time (a time below the minimum qualifying standard for age and gender) has been established. Below is a list of when entrants needed to obtain a faster time than their minimum standard in order to be accepted into the race:

  • For the 2012 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 74 seconds or faster. 
  • For the 2014 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 98 seconds or faster.
  • For the 2015 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 62 seconds or faster.
  • For the 2016 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 2 minutes and 28 seconds or faster.
  • For the 2017 Boston Marathon, the cut-off for qualifying times was drawn at those who beat their qualifying standard by 2 minutes and 9 second or faster.

Although these were the cases for previous years, we cannot predict how competitive the registration process will be for any given year, or how quickly it will fill. If you don’t have a qualifying time but still wish to participate, you can apply to run for the Boston Marathon Official Charity Program. Click the button below for more information:


The B.A.A. discourages the wearing of action cameras such as GoPros while running in the Boston Marathon. Any footage of the Boston Marathon captured by runners or spectators is for personal use only. Personal use shall mean non-commercial use of such footage only. Any Boston Marathon footage for personal use shall not include any distribution for such purpose as to charge money, collect fees, or receive any form of remuneration. The Boston Marathon footage for personal use shall not be used in advertising and shall not be resold, relicensed, or sub-licensed. The Boston Athletic Association will not be liable for any third party claims or incidental, consequential or other damages arising out of this personal use of Boston Marathon footage. Any Boston Marathon footage usage cannot violate rights held by existing B.A.A. sponsors and/or partners.


After you submit your application, you'll receive an e-mail confirming that we've received your application. Verification of your qualified time can then take up to five weeks as the results from your qualifying race are verified. Once we verify your time, you'll receive a second e-mail that confirms your entrance into the Boston Marathon.

The B.A.A. asks for your cooperation and patience during this verification process. Please do not contact the B.A.A. during this period unless requested to do so by the Registration office.


The B.AA. suggests that you make arrangements to meet your runner in the Family Meeting Area. Large signs with all letters of the alphabet will be posted beginning on Stuart Street, along Clarendon Street and finishing along St. James Avenue. Access to the finish line area is strictly for race personnel only. Due to the amount of runners, officials, medical personnel, and volunteers working in the finish area, the B.A.A. cannot accommodate specific requests such as marriage proposals or special meet ups in the finish area.

The B.A.A. does not decide whether a qualifying race is certified or not. The race director or race management of that event can tell you if a course is certified. For a complete list of certified courses in the U.S.A. check USA Track & Field. In Canada check Athletics Canada. Internationally, an extensive calendar of races is listed at the Association of International Marathon and Road Races website, with indication of courses that are not certified.

As your qualifying time is verified, we may find that your name was misspelled, your zip code was wrong, or other minor mistakes with your application. As long as your qualifying time can be verified, these mistakes should not jeopardize your entry into the Boston Marathon. You will be contacted by the B.A.A. eventually to correct this information.


You’re unique, so don’t copy other runners. Some runners need less fluid than you, while others will need more. Learn your individual hydration needs. Fluid needs vary widely and slower runners need to be very cautious with their fluid intake while faster runners may need to drink more to replace higher volume sweat losses.

For further information on the B.A.A. recommended hydration plan, click the button below:


We STRONGLY recommend that all entrants take the official B.A.A. buses from Boston to Hopkinton on race morning, as it is the only way we can ensure that you will get into Hopkinton.

Hopkinton State Park parking and shuttle is for volunteers and spectators only. Registered runners parking at this location and using this shuttle will not be transported to the Athlete’s Village, will have to walk an additional one mile from the drop-off point to the Village, and may be subject to additional security screening to enter the Village. Registered runners are requested to use the shuttle buses from the South Street parking lots in order to ensure their arrival at the Athlete’s Village.

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