Boston Marathon 2012 (Revisited)

I last wrote on this BQ (Boston Qualification) topic in March 2011. It was almost nearing the 115th Boston Marathon 2011. BAA had announced the BQ for 2012 and 2013. I remembered it creating quite a stir in the running circle. And a few weeks later, Geoffrey Mutai emerged with a phenomenal world's fastest time in the history of marathon.......


To recap, I had missed the opportunity to apply for the 2011 Boston Marathon which opened for registration in Oct 2010. That year, the registration closed in a mere 8 hours. I remember finding that out in Beijing, 24 Oct 2010, where I had just completed my PB of 3:17. Though disappointed that Boston 2011 was out of reach, a glimmer of hope was in the horizon. I may yet fulfill this dream. I remember eyeing for 2012.

BAA, the organizer came up with a different approach this year. As mentioned in my blog, the QT (Qualifying Time) for my age category (40-44) remained at 3:20 for 2012 but the dates on which they allow us to commence registration varied according to the margin of one's qualification. The faster qualifier gets to register first. After much waiting and anticipation, the 2012's Boston Marathon registration finally opened on 12 Sept 2011. However, my QT did not allow me to register until the second week of registration. Naturally, I was not holding high hopes of getting in because I expected that the slots would have been taken up well before 19/9/11.

So, imagine the surprise when I found out that by 19/9/11, they were STILL open for registration. I registered right away. By 28/9/11, I received an email stating that they would accept me pending the verification of my QT. I was ecstatic! I remember calling my wife and informing her to dig out my Beijing Certificate which I got stashed away somewhere. I had it scanned and forwarded the copy to them immediately.

A few days later, I received this email:

Dear Boon Pin Yeng,

This is to notify you that your entry into the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2012 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

A Confirmation of Acceptance card will be mailed to you via US Postal Service mail in October......

........We look forward to seeing you in April! Best of luck in your training!

Sincerely,

Boston Athletic Association


Wow! I still can't believe that I have been accepted. The feeling's like when I passed my MRCPCH (Paediatrics Membership exam), I couldn't believe it then and actually called up the exam board to confirm! Exciting and invigorating! I never thought that running in Boston Marathon could actually be a reality.

So, what is the big deal about running in Boston? Frankly, for me, it's never about the so called 'prestige' of being able to qualify for it. Neither was it about "making the cut" nor being better than others. Some may assume that BQ naturally means that to all who qualify. But speaking for myself, it is about realizing a dream. I have achieved what I have set out to do. And this is about a dream fulfilled.

Less than 2 years ago, I was struggling with the thought of giving up marathon running for good. Yes. It was downright demoralizing because I just couldn't find the reason to go on running. My 'break' came when I ran in Borneo that year in Oct 2009. My marathon time had shown slight improvement. After that, training along with a group of friends in Seremban, I managed to improve and clocked my first sub 4 in SCMS 2009 that year. That was the turning point in my running life. The much needed boost of confidence rekindled my passion for marathon. I then set my sight on Boston though I knew that it was near impossible to get below 3:20. Well, I thought to myself: "I can always try". A few marathons later, the Beijing Marathon Oct 2010 gave me that final push to clench my BQ.

I have set my eyes on Boston to prove that the seemingly "impossible" can be achieved when you dare to dream. (I know this sounds a bit cliche now that it's so frequently quoted. But what the heck...) If you take the necessary steps to fulfill it, coupled with the courage to act on it, it IS possible. I have to repeatedly challenge myself in order to stay on track because, believe me, there is a strong tendency to slack off, detour or even quit. It is still quite a roller coaster ride for me though some may think that it all came naturally. What is unnatural is stubbornly holding on to this dream. I had to battle a lot of injuries and 'down' time. It wasn't all pretty and rosy. But it is the only way that proves worthwhile for me.

I have set another goal. Now that I have qualified and secured a place in the 116th Boston Marathon. The new hope is not just running in it but aiming to achieve the unthinkable for me. To sub 3 would be a dream to top the dream of running in Boston. I keep on dreaming, don't I? Some may think that I am crazy, I know, but what else would I rather do?

Comments

  1. Congratulation!
    Thanks for showing us the power of dream & aim high. All the best on the training and running towards the sub-3 target at 116th Boston Marathon. :D

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  2. Thanks for sharing this inspiration post! And a HUGE Congrats for qualifying! Happy running!

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  3. Thanks Neoh and Gracie. I will certainly do!

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  4. Congrats my friend. This is only something I can dream of doing :D

    Happy Feet

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  5. Nick, dreams are good. That's how mine got started. So, why not u?

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  6. Stay Tuned! More updates to come after 16 April 2012!

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