BAA swaps starting times for elite men and women in Boston Marathon

Boston-04/15/2019 The Boston Marathon finish line- Last years womens winner, Desiree Linden crosses the finish line. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(sports)
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File
Desiree Linden intends to run the Boston Marathon just weeks after running the US Olympic trials.

The Boston Athletic Association has swapped the start times for the elite men and elite women for the 2020 Boston Marathon to cut down on athletes passing each other on the course.

Race organizers hope the change will minimize safety risks. Previously, runners in the elite women’s division would sometimes be overtaken by elite male runners and lead vehicles.

The BAA hopes the change also will make for more TV coverage for elite women runners.


“In an effort to ensure the best possible race experience for all participants, we have made alterations to the start times for this year’s race,” said Tom Grilk, chief executive officer of the BAA.

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“Keeping participant safety and their experience at the forefront of all decision making, we have taken a data-driven and analytical approach to determine the most optimal start times for all divisions.”

The race will be run on Monday, April 20.

Last month, the BAA announced the elite field; nine previous champions will run, including 2018 champion Desiree Linden.

Here are all the start times, which the BAA notes are subject to change:


  Men’s wheelchair, 9:02 a.m.

  Women’s wheelchair, 9:05 a.m.

  Handcycles and duos, 9:30 a.m.

  Elite men, 9:37 a.m.

  Elite women, 9:45 a.m.


Para athletics, 9:50 a.m.

  Wave 1, 10 a.m.

  Wave 2, 10:25 a.m.

  Wave 3, 10:50 a.m.

  Wave 4, 11:15 a.m.

Related: Here are the particulars of the 2020 Boston Marathon field