Everyone Wants to Run Next Year’s Boston Marathon

Google Trends proves it.

In the wake of last Monday’s attack, many, many, many people resolved to run next year’s Boston Marathon. Google Trends shows how much more interest than usual there is in next year’s race by documenting the number of searches people have run for the words “how to qualify for Boston Marathon.”


Note that in the preceding years, interest in qualifying for the race typically spiked a bit in October, when the Boston Athletic Association opens up the registration, and more seriously each April, when (presumably) everyone gets inspired by coverage of that year’s race.

Then, of course, came 2013, the results of which you can see at the righthand side of the chart, which, at the least, proves that interest in what it would take to qualify has risen. (We’re making a logical leap to assume that this indicates personal interest in qualifying.)

Here’s a zoomed in look at the last 30 days:

google2The day or so after the race, search interest in how to qualify for the marathon capped out at “100” on Google’s scale. That’s a lot of newly interested runners.

Of course, those many, many Googlers looking for advice on qualifying were likely greeted with some daunting news. The times for each age group can be found on the BAA website, but they’re famously fast, particularly for those new to marathons. To get in, you have to run a qualifying time in another marathon after September 22, 2012. (So if you haven’t run that qualifying time yet, you’re good! Now you just have to, you know, run the qualifying time.) And they got faster for this year’s race. Even with a time, registration gets competitive.

There’s also the charity route. The marathon allots spaces to partner charities, who typically distribute them to those who raise money, usually on the order of several thousand dollars, or otherwise contribute to the organization.

Of course, events being somewhat out of the ordinary, who knows how the BAA will respond to this surging interest in running the 2014 race, and whether that’ll impact the typical registration process.

But for now, it is, at the very least, a good sign that the violence at this year’s finish line won’t have the organizers lacking for willing participants next year.