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Participant Information: Timing and Scoring

The Two Hour Rule

In working with our host communities on putting on this event, we’ve established times at which the public roadways can be re-opened to vehicular traffic. Across the portfolio of B.A.A. events, there are cut-off times we’ve listed below. After these times, we’re not able to guarantee that participants will be given an official time for the event. We will make every effort to reward the participants with a medal, but the timing systems, and other finish area structures may begin to be broken down.

Event B.A.A. 5K B.A.A. 10K B.A.A. Half Marathon Boston Marathon
Distance 3.1 Miles 6.2 Miles 13.1 Miles 26.2 Miles
Cut-Off Time 1:00:00 2:00:00 3:00:00 6:00:00
Maximum Pace-Per-Mile 19:19 19:19 13:44 13:44


  • In all cases, the cut-off time will be established when the last participant crosses the starting line. For example, if the B.A.A. 10K starts at 8:00 a.m., and the last participant crosses the starting line at 8:11, the race’s cut-off time will be two hours later, at 10:11 a.m.
  • In all cases, the race course amenities (such as hydration stations) will also begin to close down based on the pace-per-mile highlighted above, effective when the last participant crosses the starting line.
  • In the case of the B.A.A. Half Marathon, the race exits public roadways at approximately 12.1 miles. In some years, pending permissions, we may be able to extend the timing systems to a 3:15 cut-off mark.
  • In the case of the Boston Marathon, there are several ‘early’ starts for mobility impaired participants. These participants can start as much as two and a half hours before the last person starts, allowing them a greater window of time to complete the distance. To learn more about our athletes with disabilities program, please e-mail
  • On occasion, we have been able to extend the window because of extenuating weather circumstances. At the 2012 Boston Marathon, when the temperature reached 89 degrees, we were able to keep the finish line open beyond the race’s traditional six-hour cut-off window. Other times, rain plays a role. These considerations will remain in place for future B.A.A. races, and decisions will be made by the B.A.A. Use of personal timing devices may not be utilized for official timing purposes.
B.A.A. Moment

Timing and Scoring

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