Yukon resident Peter Mpala is set to race the 2024 Boston Marathon.
The marathon, currently in its 128th edition, will take place on April 15, 2024 in Boston. The race is one of the renowned global sporting events for athletes from around the world.
Mpala, 34, originally from Uganda, said it’s a very big achievement to be able to qualify for the marathon.
“It’s the number one goal and dream for every marathon runner to participate in the race,” he said. “I have been looking forward to participating in the marathon for the past four years.”
To qualify, prospective runners need to meet the qualifying time requirements by participating in other long distance races or marathons. All qualifying times are subject to review and verification by the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race.
A total of 33,058 qualifier applications were received during the registration week from Sept. 11 to 15. Of those, 22,019 qualified applicants have been accepted to date or are in the process of being accepted, pending verification of their qualifying performance.
Organizers said due to field size limitations, achieving one’s qualifying standard does not guarantee entry into the event, but simply the opportunity to submit a registration application.
Men ages 18 to 34 have a qualifying time of three hours, while women and non-binary participants between the same age bracket are required to meet a three hours, 30 minutes qualifying time.
Mpala had a qualifying time of 2:48:14 and received an acceptance email from the organizers, officially confirming his spot in the marathon.
Mpala participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon in British Columbia in May to meet the qualifying time.
“I couldn’t meet the qualifying time last year because I was injured,” said Mpala who ran the Vancouver Marathon last year and was injured in the process.
“I was not happy. I had to stop running for four months just to heal and come back. I thought ‘I won’t be able to come back to racing because of the injury’ but luckily, I recovered in time to participate in the qualifications.”
The Boston Marathon has a combined prize money of more than US$1 million prize money equally distributed amongst men and women in the open, masters and wheelchair divisions.
The winner of the open category will receive $150,000, with second place receiving $75,000 while the third place will bring home $40,000.
In the wheelchair division classified as T53/54/34, first place will receive $40,000, second place will get $25,000 and third place takes home $12,000. Winners in the second category of the wheelchair division T51-52 will receive $1,500, second place will recieve $750 and third place $500.
In the masters division, first place will receive $5,000, second place will get $2,500 and third place will bring home $1,500.
The organizers said the marathon is the first Abbott World Marathon Major event to offer $50,000 course record bonuses across open and wheelchair divisions.
Mpala told the News he is enthusiastic about the race.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a big challenge for us in the Yukon because of the weather and snow, but you have to train to run on the dry road in Boston without ice and snow. Also running in a cold place as compared to a place with humid conditions could be a challenge.”
However, Mpala said running on snow could also be an advantage because while running in the snow, you are putting in as much effort as running on the road.
Mpala said moving to the Yukon in 2015 opened the doors to becoming an athlete.
“I’m proud to be doing this for this wonderful place I’ve come to call home,” he said. “I have started training now and getting ready for the race.”
Contact Patrick Egwu at email@example.com