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Participant Information: Athletes With Disabilities

Paving the way for disabled athletes since 1975

2015 BOSTON MARATHON REGISTRATION UPDATE

The Boston Athletic Association appreciates your interest in running the 2015 Boston Marathon, however online registration for Athletes with Disabilities has closed. 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.  Push Rim Wheelchair, Visually Impaired and Mobility Impaired athletes should contact athleteswithdisabilities@baa.org for more information on registration.

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, Mobility Impaired and Visually Impaired athletes who have submitted an application for entry during Week One of registration (October 6 through October 10) 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.

Wheelchair, Handcycle, Mobility Impaired and Visually Impaired athletes who submitted their entry during Week Two of registration (October 13 through October 15, 2014) will be ranked based on their qualifying performance. The B.A.A. is in the process of verifying qualifying times. Notification will be sent to all athletes who submitted an application, indicating acceptance or non-acceptance.

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.

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 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.