Handcycle Program

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.


  • 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.


  • Athletes seeking entrance into the Handcycle Program of the 2023 Boston Marathon must achieve or better their respective qualifying time on a certified marathon course during the qualifying window.
  • The qualifying window for the 2023 Boston Marathon opened September 1, 2021.
  • 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


Non-qualified athletes seeking entrance into the Handcycle Program of the 2023 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, or has demonstrated comparable fitness as determined by the B.A.A.\

For safety reasons, the B.A.A. reserves the right to establish, update, or revise a minimum performance standard of 3 hours (3:00:00)and/or require documentation of adequate fitness and racing experience for non-qualified invitational entrants to ensure such participants can competently and safely complete the marathon distance in a handcycle.


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.
  • 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.
  • Handcycle participants will be required to maintain a pace no faster than 12 mph and hold grid position for the first one-half mile.
  • 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 and may not accept a draft from any outside source including lead vehicles and official bike spotters.


  • The capacity limit for the Handcycle Program of the 2023 Boston Marathon is 40.


  • Athletes in the Handcycle Program will be listed in order of finish by gender.


  • The top male and female finishers in the Handcycle Program will receive an award and a $2,500 stipend of recognition.