Editor's note: Update added below.
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Vancouver USA Marathon runners who thought they had positioned themselves to qualify for the Boston Marathon had their dreams dashed when they learned their times won’t count.
Race officials made a mistake when calculating the length of the June 19 race, and the course was shortened by 1,126 feet.
Boston Marathon race officials have thrown out all the 2017 qualifying times from the Vancouver race.
Kristin Morin, 45, of Brush Prairie, thought she had qualified for Boston only to find out that her time didn't count.
“You have a goal in mind, and then to have it shot down is very frustrating,” Morin said.
She finished the Vancouver USA race in 3 hours, 46 minutes, well below the Boston benchmark of 3 hours, 55 minutes.
Race Director Brian Davis said his team is heartbroken to have mistakenly short-changed the runners. He pleaded with Boston race organizers to make allowances for runners who Davis believed would have qualified had the race length been correct, but to no avail.
“They said they had to draw a line in the sand,” Davis said.
Davis said the course started in downtown Vancouver before heading to Frenchman’s Bar and turning back. This year, the turnaround was mistakenly placed too soon.
Marathon runners must have a Boston qualifying time completed by the submission deadline. Morin just found out last week that her time didn’t count.
“I had already run the last two Boston Marathons, and I wanted to keep the streak going,” she said. She acknowledged that other runners who had not ever run Boston before would be even more frustrated.
Some runners have demanded refunds from the Vancouver USA Marathon, saying they thought they had completed a “bucket list” event in their lives by running a marathon, but now know they haven’t run a complete 26.2-mile course.
UPDATE: In a post on Facebook, the Vancouver USA Marathon announced it would give free entry to all runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon but were denied.