Did you qualify for the Boston Marathon and miss out on registration? Here’s a free entry for ya…

I was approached yesterday by the folks from Salonpas to giveaway a Boston Marathon registration slot to anyone who wanted it (including yours truly).  Yup – you heard that right: A pre-paid entry slot to the Boston Marathon.  Given I’ve already run Boston (my favorite sports experience to date!), and more importantly because I have zero desire to cause that much pain in my legs in the next few months – I’m going to give it away to one of you!

Except, there’s one little caveat that I decided on (which, I think you’ll appreciate).  Back on October 18th the Boston Marathon sold out in 8 hours – cutting off the opportunity to register for many peeps.  More importantly – folks who had worked their butts off to get a Boston Qualifying time, only to come home from work that day and find it already sold out.


So I decided this would be a good opportunity to try and rectify that – even if only for one person.  While the Salonpas folks said I could give away the entry to anybody, I’m going to make the following tiny little conditions:

1) You must have already run a Boston Qualifying time for your age group per the normal Boston qualifying rules, as of October 18th, 2010 (meaning, prior to the last roughly 13 months of that date).  While I know others qualifying after October 18th had the door closed on them early this year, I really want to help out the peeps who will otherwise not be able to use their BQ time at all.

2) You must be willing to run the Boston Marathon this year (April 18th, 2011).  I know this sounds silly – but please don’t enter unless you will run (the whole thing).

3) This must be your first Boston Marathon experience.  There’s something special about Boston that’s just different for newbies.

4) You must have the time of your life.  That’s it!

Sound like a deal?  Then simply leave a comment below – that’s it.  Nothing fancy to do other than say hello.  Though, if you write a poem, it’ll be more entertaining for all of us to read – but the winner will be chosen at random from the entries.

Finally – I’d like to thank Salonpas for this opportunity.  During my survey a few weeks ago you told me that you didn’t want ‘sellout’ freebie advertising type giveaways (that I haven’t done to date) – but that you loved some of the really unique ones I could get (and you loved the gadget giveaways).  I think this fits the description of ‘dang cool’ pretty well.  Of course, I do want to briefly mention what Salonpas is – as that’s the least I could do.

They have an simple pain relief patch that you can slap on after you torment your body during training.  It lasts up to 12 hours before you get to tear it off and slap on another one for more happy.  They are currently hosting a sports sponsorship program where groups can apply to receive workout backpacks, water bottles, T-shirts, and samples for every member of their team. To apply, head on over to their Facebook page and click on the ‘Get Started’ button (or any other buttons that look interesting).  Or you can just visit their normal Facebook page here.

Technical deets: The winner will receive a fully paid entry to the 2011 Boston Marathon on behalf of Salonpas.  The winner does not have to know the date nacho cheese was invented, nor why it was invented.  The winner will receive a pile of free goodies from Salonpas, including some of their products and also a running kit – they are under no obligation to use either though. The winner will otherwise pay their own way to Boston and all the normal expenses – none of that’s covered by me or Salonpas.  Entry is open to US folks only this time (first time ever!), sorry!  Winner may or may not be required to send me a finishers photo so I can post it then…depends on how brutal it looks…the more brutal, the more likely it’ll be posted. ;)

Entry period closes Sunday, February 13th at 11:59PM Eastern Time.  That way I can give someone a Valentines day gift!  Good luck!


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  1. I meet all of the rules, but I am already registered.

    I just wanted to say GREAT CONTEST!.

  2. There is a marathon in Boston?

    And just in case anyone is interested in the history of nacho cheese (per wiki)

    Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, ( It is said that it was first made in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico) at a restaurant called the Victory Club, owned by Rodolfo De Los Santos.[1][2] One day in 1943, the wives of ten to twelve U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip, and arrived at the restaurant after it had closed for the day. The maître d’, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, added longhorn cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, and added sliced jalapeño peppers.[Note 1] He served the dish, calling it Nacho’s especiales[3] – meaning something like “Nacho’s special” in Spanish.

    Anaya went on to work at the Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses the original recipe. He also opened his own restaurant, “Nacho’s Restaurant”, in Piedras Negras. Anaya’s original recipe was printed in the 1954 St. Anne’s Cookbook.[1][2]

    Seriously, thats a great giveaway and well orchestrated.

  3. I don’t meet the eligibility requirements Ray, but I want to say what a great giveaway, particularly in how you are executing it. Well done!

  4. When I lived in Boston, I used to let runners stay with me gratis. I’d pick ’em up, take ’em where they needed to go, etc..

    I strongly believed that if everyone in the greater Boston area would do the same, it would make the weekend even better for the runners (and their families) who put so much into getting there.

    At the end of the weekend, I had learned a ton, reveled in the stories, and made some amazing friendships!

    Awesome giveaway, and Congrats to whoever is the recepient!

  5. Posting on behalf of my wife Karolina. She qualified at Richmond last year and was ready to race in 2011. However, on registration day she couldn’t bring up the registration page and decided to wait until later that day. By the time she got home to try again, it was closed. This would be huge for her!

  6. I meet all the requirements! Pick me! Pick me!!! cindy@ryanstewartmusic.com

  7. you are like a blogging santa claus

  8. AWESOME giveaway. I don’t meet the requirements, but I posted it to my blog. This giveaway made my day. Thanks for being awesome.

  9. Sign me up!!! :) -BQer

  10. Ray, great contest and a great give away very proud of you for doing this. Dad

  11. DM

    The entry window came and went as I was winding my training down in prep for Chicago. The race went poorly (it was hot; there was an injury issue) and in the aftermath I decided to change gears this spring, to take a break from the thon. While I have yet to question the soundness of this decision, another voice has been telling me that it’s time. Now is the time to go to Boston: not 2012; 2011. About 10 weeks to go: just enough time to not over think it. I ran 2:31.34 (12th) at the 2009 Philadelphia Marathon. If you grant me this number, I promise to take it to Boston and run my ass off.

  12. Ok, I’m going to use this story to see if you will pick me! I don’t pull this card too often, so its worth a shot! Its no poem, but in all seriousness, I BQ’d in Philly in November, on the anniversary of my 8th year of being cancer free (brain cancer). I was diagnosed when I was 17 and had it removed, and I’m still healthy and running! When I was in the hospital, I decided then and there that when I was better, I would run a marathon. I did, at age 19, and haven’t stopped! I’m DEFINITELY going to try to get in next year, but if there is a spot that I can get for this year, I meet all the requirements and would love the opportunity!

    Thanks! hmmoffett@gmail.com

  13. Great contest! I went to register about 2 hours late. I qualified at the Eugene Marathon and Portland Marathon both. With my best time being 3:15. This would be my first Boston. I hope whoever wins has a fantastic time!


  14. Racine Schuring

    I’m a 22 year old from Fargo, North Dakota. I missed the registration the past 2 years. I went to register the day of and missed it by less than 30 minutes. PPLLLEEAAASSSEEEEE pick me! :-) I grew up on a dairy farm where we milk over 1500 cows 3 times a day….you hook me up with a “Golden Ticket” to the Boston Marathon & I will hook you up with some free dairy products!!! ;-) It’s a win win situation!!!! SO please help make me make a dream come true!

  15. DM

    Realizing now that Boston actually sold out a week AFTER Chicago. So, clarification: I was not winding down my training. I was broken down.

  16. I meet all the criteria. I had a BQ time last year at the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon but did not get registered in time. I would love to run Boston in 2011!!


  17. JW

    Like everybody else, was disappointed to miss Boston sign-up. I meet all the criteria to go to Boston and would be great to go.

  18. Wow, what a great giveaway. Wish I had qualified in 2010.

  19. I qualified in Charlotte in Dec. 2010 and would love to run Boston this year!!! Lora Fox

  20. Speedy-Pete-I ran my first marathon thinking that I had trained long enough, wow was I wrong. I joined this awesome running group that taught me a lot! Thanks guys! They helped me to qualify in October.At the age of 54 I did it! I tried to register after work and to my disapointement didn’t make it. Thank you so much for a second chance!

  21. Qualified at Marine Corps but Boston was sold out by then. It would be my first Boston Marathon – so pick me!

  22. Wow…I’ve never run a marathon and even if I had would never qualify. :) However the entries are fantastic and you can’t go wrong with any of them. I sure hope however wins will post a race report!

  23. You truly are the blogging Santa or perhaps Cupid! I did more than a double take on this post. Unfortunately I’ve already run Boston 10x and didn’t qualify in the past year so I’m out! Great contest and can’t wait to see what happens!!

  24. sure, sign me up. I was one of those who thought I had plenty of time to sign up. I even got on the registration page in the morning but for some reason didn’t sign up.

    I trained my butt off and qualified last year at Portland Marathon with a 3:15:53 so only 6 seconds to spare!

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. I’m 51 years old, ran my first marathon in October of 2010 (Bay State), where I qualified for Boston. I failed to register for Boston in time. I’m excited about this chance to register and run.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Ray

    Would love to win the free entry. I trained up and qualified at Richmond. Too bad, that was too late to get in for this year’s Boston Marathon. :-(

  29. I’ve never run Boston. I missed qualifying in 2009 at Philly by 1:23. I tried again at NJ Marathon in May 2010 but it was hot and not to be. Tried again on 10/10/10 at Steamtown and missed again by less than 2 minutes again (1:26). Registration came and went then I managed to qualify on 12/11/10 at Rehoboth Beach with a 3:15:48 (by 12 seconds with a “sprinting” last mile). I’m still training through the winter and would be ready in April. I’d appreciate your consideration.