ADAPTIVE PROGRAMS

  • The following Adaptive Programs provide unique opportunities for athletes with eligible impairments to participate and experience the Boston Marathon.
  • A para athletics classification is not required.

 

RUNNERS

  • This program is reserved for runners who possess a permanent physical, intellectual, or visual impairment that impacts their ability to ambulate or participate in the sport of running.
ELIGIBILITY
  • The athlete must possess a permanent physical, intellectual, or visual impairment that aligns with the eligible impairment types defined by World Para Athletics, and
  • The impairment must have a significant impact on the person’s ability to ambulate and/or participate in the sport of running, and
  • Athletes with visual impairments must meet the criteria of legal blindness; visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best possible correction, and/or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.
  • The athlete must provide impairment documentation at time of registration, or have current documentation on file with the B.A.A.
  • Athletes with acute injuries or temporary conditions are not eligible for this program.
  • Refer to Eligibility for more information.
QUALIFYING STANDARD
  • Athletes must achieve or better their respective qualifying time by type of impairment on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window.
  • The qualifying window for the 2020 Boston Marathon opened September 15, 2018.
  • Athletes have until the date they register to achieve their qualifying time.
IMPAIRMENT TYPE QUALIFYING STANDARD (BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, 18 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER)
Physical or Intellectual 6:00:00
Visual 5:00:00
OFFICIAL CHARITY PROGRAM AND NON-QUALIFIED APPLICANTS
  • Non-qualified runners who possess an eligible physical, visual, or intellectual impairment and who wish to apply for the Adaptive Program using an invitational entry may apply at time of registration up to January 31, 2020. Applications received after this date will only be considered if space remains in the program.
RULES OF THE ROAD
  • Runners in the Adaptive Program must be able to self-propel themselves the entire marathon distance by their own volition.
Support Runner

A Support Runner is defined as a person who provides verbal instructions, directions, and/or cues that support orientation and/or decision making for an athlete with a physical or intellectual impairment.

  • Runners in the Adaptive Program who possess a physical or intellectual impairment are permitted to be accompanied by one Support Runner during the race.
  • A Support Runner may not push, pull, or carry the athlete.
  • An athlete may not partake in sustained physical contact with his/her Support Runner during the race. The athlete may only bear weight on his or her Support Runner temporarily to regain balance if necessary.
  • A Support Runner may assist the athlete in obtaining fluids at a designated fluid station.
  • A Support Runner may assist the athlete who has tripped or fallen to regain his or her footing and/or orientation as long as such assistance does not provide any advantage to the athlete towards his or her running direction.
  • Athlete and Support Runner may not be tethered.
  • A Support Runner may not block the forward progression of other race participants.
  • It is the athlete’s responsibility to identify and select his or her own Support Runner if a Support Runner is needed.
  • Support Runner selection may not include financial contingencies, including but not limited to the requirement or expectation that an individual will donate or fundraise for any organization in exchange for the opportunity to run as a Support Runner in the Boston Marathon.
  • All Support Runners must complete the Support Runner Registration Form and agree to the Participant’s Agreement, Waiver, Release, and Acknowledgement by the specified deadline in March.
  • The B.A.A. expects that athlete and his/her Support Runner have trained together prior to race day.
  • A SUPPORT bib is considered an official B.A.A. issued bib and is subject to all rules pertaining to B.A.A. issued bibs.
  • Support Runners must wear the B.A.A. issued SUPPORT bib as directed by the B.A.A.
  • Support Runners will receive a finisher’s medal but are not scored and do not receive an official finishing time.
  • Any participant wearing a replicated or manufactured SUPPORT bib or like apparel and who is not registered as a Support Runner with the B.A.A. may be disqualified, and/or the athlete he/she is assisting may be disqualified.
  • If a registered runner is selected to run as a Support Runner, he or she must complete the Support Runner Registration Form and wear both his/her runner’s bib and the B.A.A. issued SUPPORT bib.
  • There is no entry fee for a Support Runner.
Guide Runner

A Guide Runner is a person who provides verbal cues and navigation support to an athlete with a vision impairment on the marathon course.

  • Athletes with vision impairments in the Adaptive Program are permitted to use up to two Guide Runners on the marathon course. The athlete may only run abreast or be tethered to one Guide Runner at a time. The second Guide Runner, if applicable, must trail the pair and interchange with the other Guide Runner as needed throughout the race.
  • Athlete and Guide in the Adaptive Program may run using a tether no longer than twenty-four inches, run abreast untethered, or use an elbow lead.
  • It is the athlete’s responsibility to identify and select his or her own Guide Runner if a Guide Runner is needed.
  • Guide Runner selection may not include financial contingencies, including but not limited to the requirement or expectation that an individual will donate or fundraise for any organization in exchange for the opportunity to run as a Guide Runner in the Boston Marathon.
  • All Guide Runners must complete the Guide Runner Registration Form and agree to the Participant’s Agreement, Waiver, Release, and Acknowledgement by the specified deadline in March.
  • The B.A.A. expects that athlete and Guide have trained together prior to race day.
  • A GUIDE bib is considered an official B.A.A. issued bib and is subject to all rules pertaining to B.A.A. issued bibs.
  • Guide Runners must wear the B.A.A. issued GUIDE bib as directed by the B.A.A.
  • Any participant wearing a replicated or manufactured GUIDE bib or guide apparel and who is not registered as a Guide Runner with the B.A.A. may be disqualified, and/or the athlete he/she is assisting may be disqualified.
  • If a registered runner is selected to run as a Guide Runner, he or she must complete theGuide Runner Registration Form and wear both his/her runner’s bib and the B.A.A. issued GUIDE bib.
  • Guide Runners will receive a finisher’s medal but are not scored and do not receive an official finishing time.
  • There is no entry fee for a Guide Runner.
FIELD SIZE
  • The field size limit of the Adaptive Program for runners in the 2020 Boston Marathon is 80.
RESULTS
  • Runners in the Adaptive Program will be listed in order of finish by net time.
  • Runners in the Adaptive Program will be scored by age and gender among the open field.
  • Runners in the Adaptive Program are not scored against runners in Para Athletics Divisions and are not eligible for awards and prize money within Para Athletics Divisions.

 

HANDCYCLE PROGRAM

  • The Handcycle Program of the Boston Marathon provides an alternative means of participation for individuals who, due to the nature of their impairment, are not able to use a racing wheelchair or run with prostheses.
ELIGIBILITY
  • The athlete must possess a permanent physical impairment that aligns with the eligible physical impairment types defined by the International Paralympic Committee and recognized in the sport of Handcycle/Para Cycling, and
  • The impairment impacts the person’s ability to ambulate, and
  • The athlete attests that he/she cannot use a racing wheelchair or run with prostheses.
  • The athlete must provide impairment documentation at time of registration, or have current documentation on file with the B.A.A.
QUALIFYING STANDARD
  • Athletes seeking entrance into the Handcycle Program of the 2020 Boston Marathon must achieve or better their respective qualifying time on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window.
  • The qualifying window for the 2020 Boston Marathon opened September 15, 2018.
  • Athletes have until the date they register to achieve their qualifying time.
Program Age Men Women
Handcycle 18-39 2:00:00 2:25:00
  40-49 2:15:00 2:40:00
  50 and over 2:30:00 2:55:00
Handcycle (Quad) All ages 2:45:00 3:10:00
OFFICIAL CHARITY PROGRAM AND NON-QUALIFIED APPLICANTS
  • Non-qualified athletes seeking entrance into the Handcycle Program of the 2020 Boston Marathon may apply for entry using an invitational entry if all of the following are true:
    • There is space remaining in the Handcycle Program after registration for qualified applicants has closed, and
    • The athlete meets the eligibility requirements for the Handcycle Program, and
    • The athlete has achieved or bettered a minimum performance standard of 3 hours (3:00:00) on a certified marathon course during the current qualifying window.
  • The B.A.A. must be notified of a potential Handcycle applicant seeking entrance through an invitational entry by October 27, 2019.
  • Notification does not guarantee acceptance.
RULES OF THE ROAD
  • The Boston Marathon is a U.S. Track & Field (USATF) sanctioned marathon course and a World Athletics Platinum Label event.
  • The rules of track & field and long distance running are governed in parallel by World Athletics and World Para Athletics (WPA).
  • The Boston Marathon is not a sanctioned para-cycling event.
  • The B.A.A. reserves the right, at any time and under any condition, to establish, update or revise rules of participation by handcycle entrants to ensure the safety of all race participants.
    • Handcycles must meet the general requirements for arm-powered handcycles defined by UCI Para-Cycling.
    • No handcycles with motors or pedals are permitted. No other gear, crank, or chain powered cycling equipment is permitted for use by athletes in the Boston Marathon including foot-powered recumbent bikes, tricycles, or bicycles.
    • All handcycle participants are required to wear a hard-shell helmet.
    • The B.A.A. strongly encourages handcycle participants to affix a safety flag to the back of their handcycle to increase their visibility on the marathon course.
    • Due to the steepness and curvature of the first quarter mile of the marathon course, the B.A.A. will implement a controlled start.
    • All handcycle participants will be required to maintain a pace no faster than 12 mph and hold grid position for the first one-half mile.
    • All handcycle participants must control their speeds throughout the race to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.
    • Lead vehicles, wheelchair racers, and runners will have the right-of-way at all times on the marathon course.
    • Handcycle participants may not draft behind wheelchair athletes. Handcycle participants may not accept a draft from any outside source including lead vehicles and official bike spotters.
FIELD SIZE
  • The maximum field size for the Handcycle Program of the 2020 Boston Marathon is 60.
  • The handcycle field will be comprised primarily of U.S. veterans and members of the One Fund Community.
  • The field will also include a limited number of civilian entrants who have met the impairment eligibility criteria and who have achieved their respective qualifying time.
RESULTS
  • Athletes in the Handcycle Program will be listed in order of finish by net time.
AWARDS
  • The top male and female finishers in the Handcycle Program will receive an award and a $2,500 stipend of recognition.

 

DUO TEAMS

  • A Duo Team is comprised of an able-bodied runner pushing a non-ambulatory ;person with a permanent physical impairment in a customized racing wheelchair.
ELIGIBILITY
  • As with any official participant of the Boston Marathon, both the duo runner and duo rider must be at least 18 years of age on race day.
  • The duo rider must be non-ambulatory and possess a permanent physical impairment that aligns with the eligible impairment types defined by World Par Athletics. Refer to Eligibility for more information.
  • The duo rider must provide impairment documentation at time of registration, or have current documentation on file with the B.A.A.
QUALIFYING STANDARDS
  • The Duo Team must have competed together as a duo team and achieved the Boston Marathon Qualifying Standard for the able-bodied duo runner’s age and gender on a certified marathon course within the qualifying window.
  • Qualifying standards for ambulatory athletes in Para Athletics Divisions and Adaptive Programs may not be used to qualify for the Duo Team Program.
  • In the qualifying race, only the duo team runner may push the customized racing wheelchair. No race performances in which another individual pushed the racing chair will be accepted.
  • In the qualifying race, the duo rider must remain securely seated in the customized racing chair throughout the duration of the race. No performances in which the duo rider did not remain in the racing chair will be accepted.
OFFICIAL CHARITY PROGRAM AND NON-QUALIFIED APPLICANTS
  • A minimum of two entries will be reserved for non-qualified eligible duo teams seeking entrance through an invitational entry method.
  • A non-qualified duo team may apply for entry into the Duo Team Program of the Boston Marathon using an invitational entry if all of the following are true:
    • The duo runner and duo rider meet the eligibility requirements for the Duo Team Program, and
    • The duo team has achieved or bettered a minimum performance standard of 6 hours (6:00:00) on a certified marathon course during the current qualifying window.
  • If there are more eligible duo teams than available spots, the B.A.A. will use a random selection process from the pool of eligible duo teams to fill remaining spots.
  • The B.A.A. must be notified of a potential duo team applicant seeking entrance through an invitational entry by October 27, 2019.
  • Notification does not guarantee acceptance.
RULES OF THE ROAD
  • The duo rider must be securely fastened in a customized racing wheelchair throughout the race.
  • No chairs with motors, cranks, or gears will be permitted.
  • Only the duo runner may push the customized racing wheelchair.
  • All duo teams will start the race behind the handcycle field.
FIELD SIZE
  • The maximum field size of the Duo Team Program of the 2020 Boston Marathon is 10.
RESULTS
  • Duo teams will be listed in order of finish by net time.
  • Both the duo runner's and duo rider's names will appear together in race results.
  • Because the Duo Team Program is a separate event group, the duo runner and duo rider are not scored against the open field and are not eligible for an age group award.