Presented By:John Hancock Logo

Participant Information: Athletes With Disabilities

Paving the way for disabled athletes since 1975

2015 BOSTON MARATHON REGISTRATION UPDATE

The registration process for Athletes with Disabilities began on October 6, and we have reached our field size maximums for the Duo and Handcycle programs.  While space remains, Push Rim Wheelchair, Visually Impaired and Mobility Impaired athletes may apply online. 

REGISTRATION - click here

Registration will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis until Friday, November 7, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. ET, or until field size maximums are reached.

For the 2015 Boston Marathon, due to space and safety constraints, field size maximums have been set for Athletes with Disabilities as follows:

  • Wheelchair Division: 70
  • Visually Impaired Division: 70
  • Mobility Impaired program: 50
  • Hand cycle program: 18
  • Duo Teams: 6

The Boston Marathon does not have a waiting list, late registration on race weekend, or race day registration. The names of all official entrants are posted on the "Entrants" list of the B.A.A. web site.

For Wheelchair, Handcycle, Duo, Mobility Impaired and Visually Impaired athletes who have submitted an application for entry but who do not yet see their name posted, please be aware that it may take several days or longer to verify qualifying performances depending on a number of factors. 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 120th Boston Marathon will be run on Monday, April 18, 2016. The qualifying window for the 2016 Boston Marathon began on September 13, 2014, and this was the first day that a qualifying performance may be used for the purpose of qualifying for the 2016 race.  Age on April 18, 2016 determines your qualifying time. Age group on the day of the qualifying race may differ.  The registration dates for the 2016 Boston Marathon are TBD and will be announced on the B.A.A.'s web site.

The Boston Athletic Association thanks you for your cooperation and wishes you the best of luck with the pursuit of your athletic goals.

REGISTRATION DATES

For athletes with disabilities, registration into the 2015 Boston Marathon will occur on a “rolling admission” schedule similar to the registration process for Qualifiers, beginning with the fastest from among those who meet the requirements.

  • On Monday, October 6 at 10:00 a.m., eligible participants who have met the standard for their age and gender by 20 minutes or faster may register.
  • On Wednesday, October 8 at 10:00 a.m. ET, if space remains, registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standard by 10 minutes or faster.
  • If space remains, registration will open on Friday, October 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET for those who have met their qualifying standard by five minutes or faster.

Within the various areas delineated within the Boston Marathon (see below for field size limits), if space remains after the first week of registration (Monday, October 6 through Saturday, October 11), then registration will re-open for all eligible athletes with disabilities from Monday, October 13 at 10:00 a.m. ET through Wednesday, October 15 at 5:00 p.m. ET. As during the first week of registration, entry during this period (Oct 13-15) will not be first-come, first-served and the fastest from among those who are eligible and who have met the qualification requirements among these submissions will be given entry as space allows.

If space remains after this initial period within the various areas delineated, then on Monday, October 20 registration will reopen to anyone who meets the qualifying standards. Registration will remain open on a first-come, first-served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

HISTORY

The Boston Athletic Association has a proud tradition of extending the challenge of the marathon to people with disabilities. 

Beginning in 1975, when one wheelchair racer completed the distance, the Boston Marathon has helped change public perception and provided opportunity and inspiration to a generation of new athletes. From its inauspicious origins over 35 years ago, the Boston Marathon currently supports a push rim wheelchair division, a visually impaired/blind division and a mobility impaired program.

Following the historic breakthrough in 1975, the Boston Athletic Association embraced this competition and incorporated it as part of the Boston Marathon. The push rim wheelchair division quickly became a focal point of local, national and world interest.

In accordance with the existing divisions of the Boston Marathon, the push rim wheelchair division similarly adopted a set of realistic qualifying times that have served to motivate aspiring athletes. With the exceptions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Boston Marathon is the only race in the world requiring a qualifying time. With the emphasis on performance, the push rim wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon has witnessed an unparalleled level of excellence in the form of world, national and personal best performances.

The introduction of prize money in 1986 enhanced the competition, and provided the push rim wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon with the richest prize purse in the sport.

This athletic phenomenon and subsequent successes of the push rim wheelchair division provided hope and possibility to additional audiences with physical disabilities, who were eager to accept the challenge of the marathon distance.

By the mid 1980’s, the B.A.A. established a visually impaired/blind division and a mobility impaired program. In each of these new components of the marathon, realistic standards and criteria of competition have been established for all concerned.

To date, more than one thousand people with different disabilities have competed in the wheelchair division of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, while the visually and mobility impaired divisions have provided access to a growing number of additional athletes.

B.A.A. Moment 4

1972 - Women Official Entrants in Marathon

Although Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1966, it was not until the 1972 Boston Marathon that women could become official entrants due to a change in AAU rules. Pictured (left to right) above are seven of the eight women who participanted in the first official women's field of the Boston Marathon - Nina Kusciak, Katherine Switzer, Elaine Pederson, Ginny Collins, Pat Barrett, Frances Morrison, Sara Mae Berman (not pictured - Valerie Rogosheske).