Boston Marathon runners who were stopped on the course due to the bombing at the finish line will be allowed to register early for the 2014 race and will not have to run a qualifying time, the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday.
The BAA said that 5,633 runners were halted on the second half of the course when the race was shut down after 2:50 p.m., following the two explosions. Those runners will be allowed to sign up prior to the open registration in September.
“The opportunity to run down Boylston Street and to cross the finish line amid thousands of spectators is a significant part of the entire Boston Marathon experience,” BAA executive director Thomas Grilk said in a statement. “With the opportunity to return and participate in 2014, we look forward to inviting back these athletes and we expect that most will renew their marathon training commitment. Boston spectators are known for their impassioned support and unbridled enthusiasm, and they will give these returning athletes some of the loudest cheers at next year’s race.”
Grilk said no decision has been made about possibly expanding the field for next year’s race to accommodate runners inspired by the events of last month.
“We want to thank our participants for their patience as we continue to work through the details of arranging this accommodation for them,” Grilk said. “And we ask for continued patience from the running community as we plan the 2014 Boston Marathon next April.”