I was running at the UND Wellness Center on Sunday, and my i-pod started playing Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream.” Besides being an excellent running song, it got me thinking about my own personal dream; running in the Boston Marathon. I don’t know if I will ever reach a level of fitness that will permit me to qualify, and then run in the Boston Marathon, but I do know that running in the greatest of all races would be a defining moment in any person’s life.
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is easy for some, but far more difficult for most of us mere mortals. A runner needs to complete another marathon in a certain amount of time in order for the Boston officials to allow you to enter in their marathon. For a man of 47 years of age, a qualifying time of 3 hours and 30 minutes is required. That means I would need to cut over an hour off my last marathon run in order to meet the Boston requirements. That’ a lot!
Running has gained a great deal of popularity in the US over the past several years, and everyone’s goal is to run in the Boston Marathon. I believe they only allow 20,000 runners to enter, so it’s a fairly limited field. When they started accepting entries for the 2011 race, it filled up in less than 8 hours. This has led some people to say that it’s “insanely easy” to qualify for the greatest race on earth, and that tougher qualification standards need to be implemented.
Whatever the standards are, I know that I still want to run in the Boston Marathon. I know that I have to train harder and run faster in order to be even eligible, but that’s OK with me! It’s a dream, and it will only come to me with a great deal of work and self sacrifice. I’m getting excited about the 2011 Fargo marathon, and my plan is to run it in 4 hours. That will inch me closer to my ultimate goal, and as Tom Petty says, I’m “Running Down a Dream!”