"BQ" in running stands for "Boston Qualifying time." It refers to a marathon time that qualifies a person for entry into the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon and is one of the most prestigious, requiring runners to meet specific qualifying standards based on their age and gender. Achieving a BQ time is a significant accomplishment for many runners, as it allows them to participate in the historic Boston Marathon. The qualifying times are quite competitive, and they are periodically adjusted based on the number of applicants and the field size for the race.


  1. Challenging Standards: Qualifying times are demanding and vary based on age and gender. For example, men aged 18-34 need a time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, while women aged 75-79 must reach 4 hours and 10 minutes. These standards also adjust for runners with different body weights and those using wheelchairs.
  2. Significant Achievement: Achieving a BQ is a major milestone for runners, signifying high fitness levels and commitment to the sport. It's often seen as a pinnacle achievement in a runner's career.
  3. Increased Competition: The prestige of the Boston Marathon and its rigorous qualifying times have heightened the competitive spirit among runners. Many races have become more competitive as more runners strive to meet the BQ standards.
  4. Registration Process: Even if you meet the BQ time, entry into the marathon isn't guaranteed. The number of applicants typically exceeds available spots, so the BAA uses a rolling admission system to decide who gets to race.

In summary, BQ refers to meeting the time standards for the Boston Marathon, a significant goal in the running community. It requires dedication and hard work, and achieving it is a notable accomplishment. However, meeting the BQ time doesn't automatically secure a spot in the marathon due to the high demand and limited entries.


The Boston Marathon qualifying times vary based on age and gender. Here are the current qualifying times for the 2023 Boston Marathon, according to the Boston Athletic Association:

  • Men 18-34: 3:00:00
  • Women 18-34: 3:30:00
  • Men 35-39: 3:05:00
  • Women 35-39: 3:35:00
  • Men 40-44: 3:10:00
  • Women 40-44: 3:40:00
  • Men 45-49: 3:20:00
  • Women 45-49: 3:50:00
  • Men 50-54: 3:25:00
  • Women 50-54: 3:55:00
  • Men 55-59: 3:35:00
  • Women 55-59: 4:05:00
  • Men 60-64: 3:50:00
  • Women 60-64: 4:20:00
  • Men 65-69: 4:05:00
  • Women 65-69: 4:35:00
  • Men 70-74: 4:20:00
  • Women 70-74: 4:50:00
  • Men 75-79: 4:35:00
  • Women 75-79: 5:05:00
  • Men 80 & Over: 4:50:00
  • Women 80 & Over: 5:20:00

It's important to note that these times are subject to change and are periodically adjusted based on the number of applicants and the field size for the race.