I feel like those answers wont solve the problem.
1. Charity runners don't take up that many spots
2. You can't run the race without charity runners bc it takes a lot of volunteers to organize boston
3. If you lower the standards by the "15 minutes" everyone is campaigning for the race is still going to fill up quickly bc the qualifying standards are so much of a joke.
BAA needs to make a decision is it going to be the "Marathon Monday Fun Run" or is it going to be an "elite" race with a difficult qualifying time. By that I mean, if you're an avid/serious runner, one you actually have to try hard to attain, or maybe even work years at attaining. I don't consider myself a marathoner and I could qualify for the guys standards in my age group hung over while drinking beer at water stations (and not for nothing, but I have) and it's not something I would "brag about" bc lets be serious the standards are not super competitive.
With that said, yes, some people really have to try to attain the already set standards, and I don't mean to knock them, but BAA needs to make a decision. Is it going to be prestigious to make Boston or can pretty much any one in half decent shape make the standard? Or move to a lottery like NY?
What would I propose to make it truly elite? I don't know anything about marathons, but I would propose two standards an A & B. For the A standard you: 1. Shorten the "qualifying window" then have an "early" entry for the A-standards. Everyone who makes the A-standard gets an entry and gets put on a descending order list, depending on how many people enter in each age group you take a percent from each age & gender group based on the total number of entrants, so it's even & this way the larger age/gender groups don't get screwed. Now, no one who is "elite" can complain -- if you aren't at the top of your % in each age group you arent getting in -- this way it isn't a "who has the fastest computer race" or "who registers the earliest race." People with the faster marathon times are getting in. Point Blank. You have assembled the most competitive field for each age group that is possible. But is this BAA's goal? Idk.
Next, you hold a certain number of slots for the "B standard" (the current standard) which are basically wild cards -- that entry is on a different day...everyone signs up and you get put in a lottery, like, NY. There, no one can complain bc they still get to have their fun run and try to "qualify for boston" and wait in line to get picked in a lottery.
But what direction will BAA go in? Who knows. Two things are for sure, the city of boston cant accomodate more marathoners, and the standards are a 'joke' to competitive runners, but that doesn't discredit the fact that it's still an achievement to some people and more power to them -- I support anyone out there running a marathon!