Paving the way for disabled athletes since 1975
The Boston Athletic Association has a proud tradition of extending the challenge of the marathon to people with disabilities.
Registration for the wheelchair, mobility impaired and visually impaired divisions of the 2013 Boston Marathon are closed.
For the 2014 Boston Marathon, qualifying times must be achieved on or after September 22, 2012
Registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon is scheduled to begin in September, 2013.
Beginning in 1975, when one wheelchair racer completed the distance, the Boston Marathon has helped change public perception and provide 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.
All individuals with disabilities must follow entry procedures and qualifying standards of the B.A.A. For persons with disabilities, the Boston Athletic Association follows the rules and guidelines of the International Paralympic Committee which are recognized by the International Stoke-Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation, Wheelchair Athletics USA, Disabled Sports USA and the United States Association for Blind Athletes. The Boston Marathon has push rim wheelchair and visually impaired/blind divisions, and a mobility impaired program. Medical documentation or proof of disability classification must be submitted with the entry form.
Push Rim Wheelchair Division
An open class 1-2 and 3-4 event for men and women, who use wheelchairs in sport and have completed the marathon distance in a qualified time, within the allotted calendar time frame. This division follows the rules and guidelines as defined by Wheelchair Sports USA and the International Stoke-Mandeville Games Federation. According to these Rules, the Wheelchair Division of the Boston Marathon is reserved for athletes classified as having a disability. Able-bodied individuals may not participate in the Wheelchair Division.
Push Rim Wheelchair Division Qualifying Times
|Open (Classes 3 & 4)
|Quad (Classes 1 & 2)
Mobility Impaired Program
Individuals with 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.
- All other individuals with disabilities must follow entry procedures and qualifying standards of either the B.A.A. or the established
Blind/Visually Impaired Division
The qualifying time is 5:00 hours for visually impaired athletes (men and women) classified B1, B2, and B3.
Athletes With Disabilities - Rules and Regulations
To download the PDF of the Rules and Regulations, click the button below: