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    Boston Marathon Handcycles Question

    Does anyone know how a person goes about qualifying for and entering the Boston Marathon with a handcycle? When I go to their website I see qualifying times for push rim wheelchairs but I don't see anything related to the hand crank wheelchairs. At the same time the old results page lists a handcycle division and competitors finish times so they're obviously competing and being timed (as of the 2009 race anyway).

    Just want to see if it's something I have a realistic shot at qualifying for next year or what the deal is exactly. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    I don't know a real lot about it but I do know that one of the races I do every year (the Burlington Vermont Marathon) is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. I think also as I remember that the Handcycle division is always just an exhibition event in the Boston Marathon.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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      #3
      I think I read something about handcycles beeing prohibited from running the Boston Marathon. Something related to high speed descents and accidents. Is it true?

      I´m trying to run the NYC Marathon this year...

      Comment


        #4
        im doing columbus this year, no qualifying. nyc is on my list maybe 2011
        Bike-on.com rep
        John@bike-on.com
        c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
        sponsored handcycle racer

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          #5
          http://www.baa.org/Contact.asp

          Comment


            #6
            http://www.baa.org/BostonMarathon/Disabilities.asp

            There's no "Handcycle Division" listed. If you've seen it, though, it might be an exhibition event and might be fun. You should call.

            Comment


              #7
              They definitely allow handcycles, issue official bibs and keep track of the time. I do not know if the handcycle division is strictly exhibitional at this point or even if they award phrize money and medals, etc....but handcycles are in the race.

              http://www.bostonmarathon.org/2010/c...pFinishers.htm

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                #8
                I really want to do the Boston Marathon next year.
                "Life is about how you
                respond to not only the
                challenges you're dealt but
                the challenges you seek...If
                you have no goals, no
                mountains to climb, your
                soul dies".~Liz Fordred

                Comment


                  #9
                  I put in an email to one of their contact addresses to see how they do things. I'll post the response on here when I hear back for anyone else who is thinking of doing the race some day.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not sure if this also applies to wheelchair and handcycling participants but I guess it's getter bigger and more competative;

                    http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/ne...getting-bigger

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Well it took awhile but I finally heard back. Here is the official word from the Boston Athletic Association on handcycles in the Boston Marathon.

                      Hand cycle athletes must meet the same qualifying standards as wheelchair athletes. The BAA can only accept eight hand cycle enterants for the Boston Marathon.

                      PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR DIVISION QUALIFYING TIMES CLASS AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN
                      Open (Classes 3 & 4) 18-39 2hrs 00min 2hrs 25min
                      40-49 2hrs 15min 2hrs 40min
                      50-Over 2hrs 30min 2hrs 55min Quad (Classes 1 & 2) 18-39 2hrs 45min 3hrs 10min
                      40-49 3hrs 00min 3hrs 25min
                      50-Over 3hrs 15min 3hrs 40min

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Nickel View Post
                        Well it took awhile but I finally heard back. Here is the official word from the Boston Athletic Association on handcycles in the Boston Marathon.

                        Hand cycle athletes must meet the same qualifying standards as wheelchair athletes. The BAA can only accept eight hand cycle enterants for the Boston Marathon.

                        PUSH RIM WHEELCHAIR DIVISION QUALIFYING TIMES CLASS AGE GROUP MEN WOMEN
                        Open (Classes 3 & 4) 18-39 2hrs 00min 2hrs 25min
                        40-49 2hrs 15min 2hrs 40min
                        50-Over 2hrs 30min 2hrs 55min Quad (Classes 1 & 2) 18-39 2hrs 45min 3hrs 10min
                        40-49 3hrs 00min 3hrs 25min
                        50-Over 3hrs 15min 3hrs 40min
                        Correct, there are NO qualifying times for handcycles for ANY marathon. Boston is strictly exhibition at this point. Technically for years the Boston marathon race committee hasn't liked handcycles, they feel they belong in cycling races. They feel this way because of the gears our bikes possess, and they have a point (albeit a small one). Years ago, push rimmers didn't like the rebel handcyclists for the smae reasons. Both are fading away and Boston is starting to accept handcycles.

                        There are no marathons that you can compete in with your handcycle to qualify for Boston, it doesn't exist. The Boston marathon is a big pushrim draw because it pays big bucks; it is not a handcycle draw, (yet).

                        Big marathons that have tons of handcyclists are:
                        NYC
                        Ohio
                        Melbourne
                        Marine Corp
                        And a few others I'm forgetting.

                        Anyone that's been told that you've just qualified for the Boston marathon on your handcycle is flat out wrong. Ask them where they got their information from and tell them the facts.

                        Sorry for the rant on an old post.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Megatron View Post
                          Correct, there are NO qualifying times for handcycles for ANY marathon. Boston is strictly exhibition at this point. Technically for years the Boston marathon race committee hasn't liked handcycles, they feel they belong in cycling races. They feel this way because of the gears our bikes possess, and they have a point (albeit a small one). Years ago, push rimmers didn't like the rebel handcyclists for the smae reasons. Both are fading away and Boston is starting to accept handcycles.

                          There are no marathons that you can compete in with your handcycle to qualify for Boston, it doesn't exist. The Boston marathon is a big pushrim draw because it pays big bucks; it is not a handcycle draw, (yet).

                          Big marathons that have tons of handcyclists are:
                          NYC
                          Ohio
                          Melbourne
                          Marine Corp
                          And a few others I'm forgetting.

                          Anyone that's been told that you've just qualified for the Boston marathon on your handcycle is flat out wrong. Ask them where they got their information from and tell them the facts.

                          Sorry for the rant on an old post.

                          You call that a rant?!?

                          After I completed the 2009 NYC Marathon I tried to register for the 2010 Boston Marathon in the handcycle division and discovered that they had only 8 slots, which had long been filled.

                          The prejudice among push rimmers opposing handcyclists participation in marathons is still present, especially in Boston. But thanks to organizations like Achilles International the political wall against handcycle participation is chipping away, probably largely due to the number of wounded veterans (many of whom Achilles sponsors) who are making handcycling a higher profile competitive sport.
                          Last edited by stephen212; 1 Apr 2011, 4:18 PM.
                          stephen@bike-on.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            u r correct stephen, there disention between the pushrimguys and handcyclists and it comes down to prize money. most marathons its hc 5 to 1 over pushrim. pl realize its way better on our wings.
                            Bike-on.com rep
                            John@bike-on.com
                            c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                            sponsored handcycle racer

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                              You call that a rant?!?

                              After I completed the 2009 NYC Marathon I tried to register for the 2010 Boston Marathon in the handcycle division and discovered that they had only 8 slots, which had long since been filled.

                              The prejudice among push rimmers opposing handcyclists participation in marathons is still present, especially in Boston. But thanks to organizations like Achilles International the political wall against handcycle participation is chipping away, probably largely due to the number of wounded veterans (many of whom Achilles sponsors) who are making handcycling a higher profile competitive sport.
                              Hey Steven, I hear ya. I just hate it when people assume things, or confuse push rimmers with handcyclists. You'd think that would be a pretty hard thing to do, but I guess not. I think Achilles does wonders from what I've read and heard. It's good that elite push-rimmers like Van Dyke also roll a handcycle because that helps handcycling. It also helps that someone like Van Dyke is a machine in both his pushrim and a handcycle. I'm not sure which he's faster on, I guess it depends on the day. Many athletes cross over and it's that cross over along with people that represent Achilles that help handcycling.

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