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Participant Information: Athletes With Disabilities

Paving the way for disabled athletes since 1975

Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2014 Boston Marathon. We have reached our field size limits for our PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR and VISUALLY IMPAIRED divisions as well as our MOBILITY IMPAIRED and HANDCYCLE programs.

To download and view the Rules and Regulations for Athletes With Disabilities officially entered in the 2014 Boston Marathon, please click the button below:

DOWNLOAD FILE - click here

 

The 2015 Boston Marathon is scheduled for April 20, 2015. Registration for that event is scheduled to take place in September of 2014. More news regarding exact registration dates and procedures will be posted prior to registration.

  • All individuals with disabilities must follow entry procedures and qualifying standards of the B.A.A. 
  • The Boston Athletic Association follows the rules and guidelines of the International Paralympic Committee (www.paralympic.org) which are recognized by Wheelchair Sports USA, Disabled Sports USA, and the United States Association for Blind Athletes.
  • The Boston Marathon has a push rim wheelchair and blind/visually impaired division, and a mobility impaired program which includes a limited number of hand cycle participants and duo teams. 
  • Medical documentation or proof of disability classification, in the form of a doctor’s letter, must be submitted with the entry form. 
  • The B.A.A. reserves the right to reject any entry, issue special invitations, cancel the race, expand or further limit the field, or adjust the entry procedures for these divisions.
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QUALIFYING REQUIREMENTS 

PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR DIVISION
An open class T51-T52 and T53-T54 event for men and women who use wheelchairs in sport and have completed the marathon distance with a valid qualified performance, this division follows the rules and guidelines as defined by International Paralympic Committee. Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Wheelchair Division.

ClassAge GroupMenWomen
Open (Classes 3 & 4) 18-39 2hrs 00min 2hrs 25min
40-49 2hrs 15min 2hrs 40min
50-Over 2hrs 30min 2hrs 55min
Quad (Classes 1 & 2) 18-39 2hrs 45min 3hrs 10min
40-49 3hrs 00min 3hrs 25min
50-Over 3hrs 15min 3hrs 40min

BLIND/VISUALLY IMPAIRED DIVISION
The qualifying time is 5:00 hours for visually impaired athletes (men and women) classified T11, T12, and T13. IPC Class Description for the Blind/Visually Impaired:

  • T11: Visual acuity is poorer than LogMAR 2.60. From no light perception in either eye to light perception, but inability to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance or in any direction.
  • T12: Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.50 to 2.60 (inclusive) and/or the athlete has a visual field that is constricted to a radius of less than 5 degrees.  From ability to recognize the shape of a hand to a visual acuity of 2/60 and/or visual field of less than five degrees.
  • T13: Visual acuity ranges from LogMAR 1.40 to 1 (inclusive) and/or the athlete has a visual field that is constricted to a radius of less than 20 degrees.  From visual acuity above 2/60 to visual acuity of 6/60 and/or visual field of more than five degrees and less than 20 degrees.

MOBILITY IMPAIRED PROGRAM
Individuals with permanent physical disabilities that affect their ability to ambulate may be granted the following extended qualifying times:

  • The qualifying time is 6:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, have difficulty ambulating
  • The qualifying time is 8:00 hours for individuals who, because of the nature of their disability, need mobility aids such as prosthetics, leg braces or crutches to ambulate
  • This program follows the IPC Guidelines for eligible and non-eligible impairment types (www.paralympic.org).

HAND CYCLE PROGRAM
Individuals who use hand cycles in sport and have completed the marathon distance with a valid qualified performance may apply to this program.  Men and women must meet the qualifying standards for their age and gender as posted in the Boston Marathon Wheelchair Division. Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Hand Cycle Program.

DUO TEAMS
A Duo Team is comprised of one able bodied person pushing a permanently disabled person in a customized racing wheelchair.  Both team members must be at least 18 years of age on race day of the Boston Marathon. The team must achieve the qualifying standard set for the able bodied participant’s age and gender at a certified marathon within the current qualifying window (http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/qualifying/qualifying-standards.aspx). As with all divisions and programs within the Boston Marathon, field sizes are limited, including the field size for duo teams. As of November 25, 2013, the field size has been reached for the maximum number of duo participants in the 2014 Boston Marathon.

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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

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb was the first female to run the Boston Marathon.