Boston 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Have An Asshole About This Too!

Feb 16th, 2011 - The BAA today released the new qualifying standards for Boston 2012, and beyond, in an attempt to uncluster the cluster-f that occurred during the 2011 registration.

(What say you with this heathen alchemy?!)

It looks like they got fed up with the complaints and just said, "**** it! Screw them all!"

Here's an easier way to understand where you fit into the new standards:

(BAA Pyramid Scheme)

This new format is obviously going to alienate some and make it more interesting for others.

Personally, I see it as a formidable challenge to try to hit the new standards, but I know of a couple of fellow runners that are severely disappointed because they were already on the fringe of the old qualifying standards.

In my opinion, I think that most runners will step up to the challenge and go beyond what they thought they were originally not capable of, except for Fil (that's my personal challenge to you).

To be honest, this is what most competitive people look for. When you make something harder the only thing you'll do is get even more people to try to conquer it. People don't pay $40k to climb Everest because it's there. People pay $40k to climb Everest because you stand a pretty damn good chance of dying! It's human nature.

To personally summarize the new standards, I would need to run a sub-2:50 in 2011, before the Sept deadline 2012, in order to be able to register on Day 1 in 2012. My goal at Boston 2011 is to run sub-2:50, so I should be able to succeed or come close, and therefore increase my chances of not getting locked out of registration. Locked out? WTF, still? Yeah, see below.

It's a different story come 2012. I would need to run a sub-2:45 in order to have the same bragging rights for Boston 2013! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The BAA also got rid of the :59 second window, which I always thought was silly, but we'll see how silly that is when I run 2:50:01. Again, I'm getting ahead of myself. Stop it.

The biggest glaring flaw in this "new" registration process is that it still doesn't fully resolve the initial problem that started this whole revamp mess: runners getting locked out of online registration, even though they ran a qualifying time, because they didn't get online in time to register!

In theory, I could technically run a BQ time per the new standards and STILL, albeit a smaller chance, get locked out when it comes my turn to register on Day 4 because Cluster-F II happens or becuase I fell asleep at the keyboard.

(I Needz a Cofee)

Or doing something else at the keyboard.

(I Needz a Tisue)

I won't even get started on what my good friend EJ says is a glaring omission in the BAA system, which is the nonsensical difference in qualifying times between men and women. Sheez!

And streakers (the clothed variety), that's a whole different can of worms!

OK. I have an asshole just like everyone else that has an opinion about this thing. What would I do?

Without giving much thought to it, I would K.I.S.S.

Cap the field at 22,000 qualified runners. Evenly divide the 22k spots between the current number of Age Groups/Genders (11/2). This gives you roughly 1000 spots per age group per gender.

Accept all qualified entries. Take the fastest qualifying times and fill in the 22k open spots by age group and gender.

Obviously, you're not going to fill all 2000 spots for each age group/gender (are there really two-thousand 80+ runners "dying" to get into Boston?), so what do you do with the remaining available spots?

People like to gamble, right? So you go to the lottery system like NYC, drawing from the pool of remaining qualified runners that did not get in because they weren't the fastest qualifiers, until you fill all 22k spots.

For race day, you let in an additional 3000 or so charity/club runners, and you taser all of the bandits.

(I Needz a Loyer)

And there you go! Under my system you get the fastest runners, an element of chance, and some shock value!

What it all comes down to in the end is to just stop bitching and do what Coach Stronach always says, RUN FASTER!

But what about all of the runners that ran a BQ, but are still locked out under your proposed system?

**** it! Screw them all!


BadDawg said...

I think the system they came up with is about as good as it's gonna get, with the same glaring omission as your scheme. Neither addresses the fact that women get 30:00 added to the qualifying time for men, even though this is much more than the actual difference between genders for average finish time.

And I personally would like to see some preference given to (equally qualified) applicants who have never run it. I probably won't run it next year, but I would hate to give up my slot to a runner who had already had a chance to run it (unless that runner was a "streaker" but that's a whole different can of worms...)

Hey look! I have one too.

Jason Bui said...

Actually, mine doesn't have the same glaring omission that you mention. I did talk about it.

Jason Bui said...

The only problem that I really have with the new BAA system is that people can still get locked out if they don't get on the computer in time, i.e. on Day 4 when Cluster Fuck II happens again, but I wanted to post cat pictures today, so I wrote an unnecessarily long-winded diatribe about it all. Just like this comment.

BadDawg said...

There are humans involved, so until HAL eliminates that element there will be imperfections.

Today's edition of Ask Jim Stronach...

Dear Jim,

I got locked out, whatever should I do?

Sign me,

Concerned Runnner in Boston

Dear Concerned,


Jason Bui said...

I've also addressed this issue. Do you want to write my blog?

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