Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
Boston Standards. Men vs Women
Quote | Reply
What is everyone's thought on the standard qualifying times for Men vs Women for Boston? Perhaps this has been discussed before, but if you look at the under 35 standard, for men it is 3:05 and for women it is 3:35. I have discussed this with my wife (4x qualifier in under 35 AG in her own right) a time or two and we both sort of believe the women's standard should be higher (as in require a faster time) if that is the only factor to be considered. I don't think it can be argued that it is more difficult, regardless of gender, to run a 7:03 pace for 26.2 vs an 8:12 pace. Is there potentially the thought that a slightly slower standard is there to encourage more women to get out and give it a try, in an effort to balance the race? I think if that is the case then it is for sure working, because I know far more females who race Boston year in and year out. If the female standard was say 3:20, you would probably have a more balanced male/female mix of "talent", but my guess is the female numbers would be drastically reduced and the actual participant balance would be skewed heavily towards men, which probably isn't great for the sport of running.

I would be interested to know if females would like the standard to be more challenging, even knowing that it could result in less potentially taking part in the race.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Well since the standards got dumbed down for the men too, the race has really stopped being a best of the best anyway. So whatever standard they use now really doesn't matter much, they just want to get 10's of thousands of runners to pay their money and come have a fun time in Boston.

Back when I had to qualify I think the mens standard was something like 2;50, so 2;49+ was your slowest runners. Think the Womens was pretty fast too. Back out all those people that don't make those old times and you have a couple thousand maybe these days?
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
There's never been a year where 2:50 was the slowest male standard. The qualifying standard started at 4:00 and then came down for men to 2:50 for under 40 and 3:10 for 40+ in 1980 (imagine one year gets you 20 minutes!). Women in 1980 was 3:20.

The standard was maintained at 2:50 through the 1989 race though they added more age groups for older men and women. The fastest women's standard stayed at 3:20 until 1986 then was relaxed to 3:30 and finally hit 3:40 in 1990 (when the men's was relaxed to 3:10).

I suspect they set the standards where they do so they can have the demographic representation they want.

https://reluctantmultisport.wordpress.com
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [marklemcd] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
From what I recall most the men running marathons back then were 40 and under, the whole AG thing had not taken off yet. Sure there were some older runners, but the majority were that under 40 group. It is just a different race now, and thats ok. If I owned it I would want 30k runners and not 5k too. It's just a different type of race now and some of that old vibe has yet to die and people hold onto it..
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
monty wrote:
Back when I had to qualify I think the mens standard was something like 2;50, so 2;49+ was your slowest runners. Think the Womens was pretty fast too. Back out all those people that don't make those old times and you have a couple thousand maybe these days?

Brief history of BQ Times:
1970: 4:00
1971-76: 3:30
1977-79: Under 40: 3 flat, over 40: 3:30, but all women 3:05

Then there's 1980 that you are talking about:
Men Under 40: 2:50 (over 40: 3:10) and Women at 3:20
The fastest Q of 2:50/3:20 stayed until 1986

After that they started splitting out more age groups and slowing the times with 3:10 being the fastest until 2013 where they reduced time by 5:00 across the board. In 2012 they started the "rolling registration" where you may not get accepted even if you ran a BQ time.

Proud Member of Chris McDonald's 2017 Big Sexy Race Team "That which doesn't kill me, will only make me stronger"
Blog-Twitter-Instagram-Race Reports - 2017 Races: IM Chatt 70.3, IM Boulder 70.3, IM 70.3 World Championships 70.3 WC Course Preview
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Runner Rick] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks Rick for the history lesson, and yes it was 1980 exactly that I began to look at that race as that is when I began running for triathlon. Flirted with going there a few times, made the standard on several occasions but never pulled the trigger. I don't really remember why, seems like the timing should have been ok with my season, but then again I used to travel abroad in our winter and race other countries summers. Was it always the same time of year they held the race?
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Men made up about 55% of finishers in 2017 Boston, which seems to be roughly in line with (quickly googled) 2014 running report of 57% marathon finishers being male. Seems right by me. Although my wife says it's too easy for women...
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
monty wrote:
Thanks Rick for the history lesson, and yes it was 1980 exactly that I began to look at that race as that is when I began running for triathlon. Flirted with going there a few times, made the standard on several occasions but never pulled the trigger. I don't really remember why, seems like the timing should have been ok with my season, but then again I used to travel abroad in our winter and race other countries summers. Was it always the same time of year they held the race?

Yes, it's always been the third Monday in April (Patriots Day, around here). The start time was pushed back several years ago from noon to 10:00AM (elite men/general population) and Elite women were given their own start.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I personally think the under 35 time for men is more difficult. But FWIW, this year of the 26,411 runners, 14,438 were male. So they still get more men runners with the current standards.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [mbwallis] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
But how many of those were qualifiers vs charity slots. I have no idea but be interesting to see if more men or women get in via charity slots.

Banger
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yes, it's always been the third Monday in April (//

Well then that makes sense as to why I never did the race. There was the LA Triathlon series beginning in April for 3 races, and then end of April/beginning of may for Wildflower. Think I did the first 22 Wildflower races in a row, so that pretty muck killed doing a marathon the 3rd week of April. Wildflower was also the race that a lot of us pros would punch our Kona ticket at too. Think there were something like a dozen pro men slots, so it was a chill way to get in early and not have to worry about it for the entire season.


I really wish I would have done it though at least once back then, heard lots of fun stories from some of my peers that did make the trip.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [banger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
banger wrote:
But how many of those were qualifiers vs charity slots. I have no idea but be interesting to see if more men or women get in via charity slots.
I honestly don't know, was just quoting the numbers from the BAA email I received after the race (BDB). But I'd still bet it results a fairly significant higher number of men qualifiers than women. As long as that's the case, I don't see them making women standards any tougher.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [mbwallis] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
There seems to be much greater variation in women's sports than in men's sports.

The best women in the world are MUCH better than elite women.
Elite women are MUCH better than competitive age group women.
Competitive age group women are MUCH better than recreational age group women.

This is also is true with girls sports.
The best girls are MUCH MUCH better than average girls.

With men and boys the differences between categories are not nearly as great.

Why is that?
Last edited by: Velocibuddha: Apr 20, 17 11:57
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Using this age grade calculator - http://www.runnersworld.com/...age-grade-calculator - based on the 2015 WMA tables, a 3:05 for a 34-year-old male is an age-graded score of 66.64% and a 3:35 for a 34-year-old female is an age-graded score of 63.28%

Here's a history of the qualifying standards from the BAA - http://www.baa.org/...fying-standards.aspx
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Apr 20, 17 12:11
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Mark Lemmon] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
that is a cool site. based on that to equalize the men's and women's, the female standard would be about 3:25. That actually feels pretty close to a good line between strong female runners and good female runners
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
milkman1982 wrote:
that is a cool site. based on that to equalize the men's and women's, the female standard would be about 3:25. That actually feels pretty close to a good line between strong female runners and good female runners

Yes but for some reason there is a bigger difference between "elite" females and "average" females than there is between "elite" males and "average" males.

I think that one needs to understand what the reason for this is. You might want to behave differently depending on what you think the reason is,
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Velocibuddha] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Why are "elite" women better relative to "average" women? (Vs. men)
Or why are "average" women worse relative to "elite" woman? (Vs. men)

This seems to be true in all sports.
For all ages of females.

Theories and what might be done if each theory is the cause:
1) A smaller percentage of women take sports seriously.
It seems unfair to penalize more serious men because there are more of them.
(Set standards using age/gender graded percentages.
2) Women and girls have more responsibilities. They are doing there fair share of society's work AND ALSO picking up slack for idle men who waste time with sports.
This would make it unfair if women were expected to age the same competency as their idle husbands.
(Set standards as a function of numbers participating).
3) Grester hormonal variation- the ratios and quantities of estroge, testosterone and other steroids is more variable between women and more variable for an individual woman.
This would also make it unfair to expect women to have the same % of age/gender graded performance.
(Set standards as a function of numbers participating).
Last edited by: Velocibuddha: Apr 20, 17 13:43
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Velocibuddha] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I could hazard a guess... Regardless of the cause (historical bias, self bias), I still think women give up personal time for their family to a greater extent than do men. There is a certain amount of selfishness that comes with working to be excellent at something. There is less selfishness needed to be good at something. Additional drivers: I think women are less driven to beat their friends to a pulp. Ergo, they work less hard, perhaps without knowing it.

Yes, stereotypes. True to different extents in different populations (eg age, socioeconomic, blah blah blah).

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Velocibuddha] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Velocibuddha wrote:
There seems to be much greater variation in women's sports than in men's sports.

The best women in the world are MUCH better than elite women.
Elite women are MUCH better than competitive age group women.
Competitive age group women are MUCH better than recreational age group women.

This is also is true with girls sports.
The best girls are MUCH MUCH better than average girls.

With men and boys the differences between categories are not nearly as great.

Why is that?

Seemingly to me, working in the fitness industry is females as a whole are less interested in sports. Yes those that are interested are top shelf and amazing athletes but I'm talking as a percentage of the general population. Also female sports are still (when compared to male sports) a little under appreciated and not as well developed leading to a smaller talent field. That's just my theory anyhow.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have this aweful odd scenario in my mind......

Husband and wife are both age 40, both work 40 hr/wk.
Husband makes 55,000
Wife makes 55,000
Wife cooks, cleans, watches the kids- 20 hr/wk
Husband occasionally fixes stuff that isn't broken- 2 hrs/ wk

Wife runs 5 hrs/week and runs 3:30 marathon (66.5 % age grade)
Husband trains 10 hr/week and runs 3:08 marathon (67% age grade)

Husband gets all the awards and credits after all he is 67%.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Velocibuddha] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yes but for some reason there is a bigger difference between "elite" females and "average" females than there is between "elite" males and "average" males. //

I may be off here, but it seems like probably just because of the numbers competing? I mean in some races like Boston it makes it look like there are nearly as many women in sport as men, but my guess is that is not really true. Just look around your local races that don't have pink t-shirts and finish lines, a lot more men than women. So with numbers it is quite possible all those performance gaps are just filled in...
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
monty wrote:
Yes but for some reason there is a bigger difference between "elite" females and "average" females than there is between "elite" males and "average" males. //

I may be off here, but it seems like probably just because of the numbers competing? I mean in some races like Boston it makes it look like there are nearly as many women in sport as men, but my guess is that is not really true. Just look around your local races that don't have pink t-shirts and finish lines, a lot more men than women. So with numbers it is quite possible all those performance gaps are just filled in...

This doesn't match my observations.
It is not just simple numbers.

But if you asked 100 men:
How many of you guys want to win?
How many of you guys did what is necessary to win?

And you asked 100 women:
How many of you want to win?
How many of you did what was necessary to win?

I suspect ..... you would get different numbers.

But even in girls swimming and girls soccer ..... where there are many more girls training hard than boys.....

It seems that the top girls differentiate themselves from the average girls a lot more.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You can frame the question this way: are there a bunch of women with a half-ass or casual approach to running that are easily qualifying and taking up slots hard core deserving male runners can't get? I don't really think so. I certainly don't think the standards for men need to be relaxed. I see a lot of male BQs walking around the Hopkinton HS staging ground that could lose a few pounds and be more serious runners.

Not really an issue, IMO.
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [milkman1982] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've seen this debated hardcore on letsrun and runnersworld.

Consensus is that it is harder for men to BQ than women with the current BAA standards. It's not ridiculously uneven, but almost all the people who have studied this acknowledge that it is easier for women to BQ at any age bracket compared to men given relative performances.

A big reason for this discrepancy is that the BAA seems to strive for roughly 50:50 M:F parity in terms of race participation. The moment you start cranking up the difficulty of the female BQ, you start losing that parity and you start getting more male-heavy participation.

Anecdotally from what I've seen, the 'hardcore' female runners often find the BQ so easy that they often don't even bother participating. And when I say 'hardcore', I'm not talking super-elites; I'm just generalizing to women who run in the 70mpw range, regardless of speed.
Last edited by: lightheir: Apr 20, 17 17:07
Quote Reply
Re: Boston Standards. Men vs Women [Mark Lemmon] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Age & Gender calculators are fun tool to equate performances, but we have to remember their limitations, especially when it comes to the women's marathon. That standard is set by Paula Radcliffe's 2:15, which is both a huge outlier and--based on recently revealed doping tests--highly suspect. The next fastest women's marathon is a full 3 minutes slower, and came from Liliya Shobukhova, who has been banned for doping.

In other words, a better adjusted time for the women's marathon might be based on a standard that's 2-3% slower than Paula's 2:15, which means a difference of 7-8 minutes for women around 3:30.




The Age Group Home on Facebook
Twitter jokes
Quote Reply

Prev Next