FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston Athletic Association Improves Logistics of
Boston Marathon with Three-Wave Start.
New, third wave will create a more orderly start
and implementation will not increase field size of 2011 race.
HOPKINTON, Mass. – The B.A.A. will employ a third wave for the start of the
2011 Boston Marathon, creating a more efficient and improved running
experience for participants in the 115th edition of the world's oldest and
most prestigious annual marathon. This year's race will be held on Monday,
April 18: Patriots' Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Working in cooperation with the Town of Hopkinton and the Hopkinton
Marathon Committee, the B.A.A. will institute three waves of mass
participatory starters. Each wave will include approximately 9,000 official
entrants, and each wave will be identified by its background bib color in a
coordinated, patriotic color scheme: Wave One (red bibs), Wave Two (white
bibs), and Wave Three (blue bibs).
The three-wave start will not increase the field size of the 2011 Boston
The start times for the 2011 Boston Marathon are as follows:
Start time Approx. No. of Bib Color
Mobility Impaired participants: 9:00 a.m. 6
Wheelchair Division: 9:17 a.m. 30
Handcycles: 9:22 a.m. 24
Elite Women: 9:32 a.m. 50
Elite Men and Wave One: 10:00 a.m. 9,000 Red
Wave Two: 10:20 a.m. 9,000 White
Wave Three: 10:40 a.m. 9,000 Blue
Next month's Boston Marathon has a field size of approximately 27,000
official entrants, including those in the wheelchair division, visually
impaired athletes and those competing in handcycles.
"The introduction of a third wave at the start of the Boston Marathon will
provide a better pre-race and starting experience for our runners," said
Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon Race Director. "We continue to study
methods to improve the race for our participants, and we are pleased to
have a partnership with the Town of Hopkinton which allows an improved
staging area and start for both the participants and the Town of
In recent past years, the field of runners started in approximately two,
equally-sized waves. The addition of a third wave for 2011 enables the
B.A.A. to divide the field into three, smaller, equally-sized waves. The
result will be a more enjoyable race for participants, many of whom gear
their entire recreational lives around running the Boston Marathon. Fewer
runners in each wave allows for more orderly loading and staging in the
corral system pre-race, and – after the race begins – less density not only
in the early miles but also throughout the entire 26.2-mile course.
On race day in 2011, no significant change in the start times will occur.
In the main, mass participatory waves, Wave One (color-coded red) will
begin at 10:00 a.m. as it has in recent years; Wave Two (color-coded white)
will begin at 10:20 a.m.; Wave Three (color-coded blue) will begin at 10:40
a.m. Last year with two waves, the first wave started at 10:00 a.m. and the
second wave began at 10:30 a.m.
This year, the final, official runner in Wave Three is expected to cross
the starting line at approximately 10:50 a.m. Last year, the final,
official runner in Wave Two crossed the starting line at 10:47 a.m..
Official timing and scoring in the Boston Marathon is held open for six
hours after the last, official entrant crosses the starting line. Runners
are timed using the net time it takes to run the course which serves as
their official time. The amount of time it takes an official entrant from
the starting gun until crossing the starting line does not add to their
Runners in the Boston Marathon are seeded based on their qualifying time
with the fastest runners starting closer to the front. For the 2011 race,
runners who have qualified with a time of approximately 3:22:42 or faster
will start in Wave One (red bibs) while those who have a qualifying time of
approximately 3:45:56 or faster will start in Wave Two (white bibs).
Runners with times greater than approximately 3:45:56 will start in Wave
Three (blue bibs). Exact time breaks for the three waves will be
ascertained in two weeks when bib numbering of the field occurs.
The starting procedure at the Boston Marathon has changed three times with
improvements in the past ten years to better accommodate the field. In
2004, to better showcase the women's elite field, the B.A.A. implemented a
separate start for the top female runners, beginning a half hour earlier
than the rest of the field. In 2006, the second wave was added to the
start, with 10,000 runners beginning at 12:00 p.m. and 10,000 beginning at
12:30 p.m. In 2007, the start was moved to 10:00 a.m., giving runners a
better opportunity to experience optimum race day weather conditions.
Also new for next month's Boston Marathon, the timing and scoring device
will be affixed to each official entrant's bib. Beginning in 1996 and
continuing until last year, runners in the Boston Marathon were required to
affix the timing and scoring device to their footwear.
About the B.A.A.:
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit
organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a
healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. Each year the
Association manages a comprehensive schedule of youth-running events,
distance running training programs, and large-scale races in the city of
Boston. Most noteworthy is the Boston Marathon, the world's most
prestigious and oldest continually run marathon. Since the inaugural race
in 1897, the Boston Marathon has been the pinnacle for distance running
worldwide, a position which was reinforced in 1986 with the help of
principal sponsor John Hancock Financial. In 2006, the Boston Marathon
joined the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the BMW Berlin Marathon, the
Virgin London Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon to form the
World Marathon Majors.