Boston Baby

Got a question about running? You’re in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon’s Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.


I re-qualified for the Boston Marathon at the 2013 race. Almost a month after returning home, I realized I was pregnant. Our Boston Baby is due around New Year. I am so emotionally tied to Boston that I applied for 2014 and was accepted. Now that delivery is close, I am wondering if running Boston 14-15 weeks after giving birth is realistic. I’ve got a back-up goal of a half marathon and a sprint tri, both in my hometown, in April, but part of me hates to miss the special race planned for 2014. If I could “donate” my entry to someone who really needs to go back, I think I would. 


First, I don’t believe this was your intent, but do not give or sell your number to another runner. While a few marathons permit number-switching, Boston is not one of them. If caught, which is more likely than you would think, you could get banned from participation in future races: Boston and other major marathons. If wondering why, consider what might happen if a runner with a switched number had been caught in one of the explosions, and medical personnel could not immediately determine that person’s identity.

That brief lecture out of the way, you have nothing to lose by waiting until a month or so ahead of Boston’s race date to see what your body tells you, whether you can run a 26-mile race or not. Certainly, many women have successfully completed marathons or otherwise returned to racing within a few months of childbirth. Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen, a past Boston winner and world record holder, comes to mind. Ingrid didn’t even mature as a distance runner until after giving birth to her first child. You don’t need to return to Boston this April intent on another BQ (Boston Qualifier). Go with the intent only to participate in what surely will be the most watched road race in history.

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for'Runner's World'and author of 34 books, including the best-selling'Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks.Hal uses'TrainingPeaks'to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans.'Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here'or on'his website.