The Bill’s Boston Marathon Qualifiers Guide Faster Factor is calculated simply by taking the total number of seconds of the fastest finishing time and dividing that by the number of finishers.
For example, the 2019 Chicago Marathon was won with a time of 2:05:45 (7,545 seconds) and 45,956 runners completed the race. This give us a Faster Factor of 0.1642. The lower the FF then, generally speaking, in this author’s opinion, the better the race for qualifying for the Boston Marathon. This formula favors large, well-organized races (with tens of thousands of runners, they need to be well-organized) attracting large crowds to cheer runners on, with winning time also a consideration.
This formula is by no means scientific and will generate a lot of controversy (feel free to comment at the bottom of this page), but the results make sense > the Chicago Marathon, the race where this author qualified for Boston himself, is #2 on the list.
Race > Month > City > Fastest Finish > Finisher Field > Faster Factor
- New York City Marathon > November > New York, NY > 2:08:13 > 53,508 > 0.1438
- Chicago Marathon > October > Chicago, IL > 2:05:45 > 45,956 > 0.1642
- Berlin Marathon > September > Berlin, Germany > 2:01:39 > 44,065 > 0.1656
- London Marathon > April > London, England, UK > 2:02:37 > 42,485 > 0.1732
- Boston Marathon > April > Boston, MA > 2:07:57 > 26,632 > 0.2879
- Marine Corps Marathon > October > Washington, DC > 2:27:43 > 18,512 > 0.4788
- Ottawa Marathon > May > Ottawa, Ontario, Canada > 2:08:02 > 2,777 > 2.7663
- REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon > April > Las Vegas, NV > 2:29:42 > 1,879 > 4.7802
- Colfax Marathon > May > Denver, CO > 2:31:33 > 1,502 > 6.0539
- Bayshore Marathon > May > Traverse City, MI > 2:24:14 > 1,311 > 6.6011
- Baystate Marathon > October > Lowell, MA > 2:34:35 > 1,111 > 8.3483
- Mohawk Hudson River Marathon > October > Albany, NY > 2:18:24 > 691 > 12.0174