BOSTON— The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today accommodation enhancements pertaining to runners who are expecting or have recently welcomed a child into their families. Pregnancy and postpartum deferrals of entries will now be available for registered participants at all B.A.A. events, including the Boston Marathon (April), B.A.A. 5K (April), B.A.A. 10K (June), and B.A.A. Half Marathon (November).
“In listening to our participants and stakeholders, the desire from mothers and expecting mothers to participate in our races –particularly the Boston Marathon—while also focusing on building a family was clear,” said Jack Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “Women who are entered in a B.A.A. race and want to expand their family will be able to do just that without giving up a chance to participate at a future B.A.A. event.”
Any athlete who is a registered entrant in a B.A.A. event and is or becomes pregnant prior to race day and chooses not to participate due to such circumstances will be eligible to receive a deferred entry into one of the next two subsequent future races. The new pregnancy and postpartum deferment policy is effective immediately, and includes athletes who are entered in the Boston Marathon by way of qualifying time or invitational entry.
Athletes seeking a pregnancy or postpartum deferral may submit a request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org any time between receiving confirmation of acceptance into the event and up to 14 days before race day. Upon receipt of a pregnancy or postpartum deferment request, the B.A.A.’s Athlete Services team will be in contact with the athlete and will request confirmation of pregnancy from a physician, registered midwife, or other medical professional.
“We at the B.A.A. are always looking for ways to improve the participant experience starting at the point of registration, and have been collaborating to create this policy for many months,” said Susie Cleary, the B.A.A.’s Director of Athlete Services. “This new deferral accommodation has been implemented with the goal of supporting mother runners along their journey at all our events, from the 5K distance through the marathon.”
If an athlete becomes pregnant again during a pregnancy or postpartum deferral period, they may request a second consecutive pregnancy or postpartum deferral. This would permit the athlete to defer their race entry for a subsequent two-year period. The B.A.A. will allow up to two consecutive pregnancy deferral requests per athlete. Policy details will be posted on www.baa.org soon.
The pregnancy deferral opportunity is an accommodation in addition to the registration insurance currently offered to Boston Marathon participants, which covers refunds for a variety of situations, including pregnancy. All other rules and requirements for race entry after a pregnancy or postpartum deferral will apply, including payment for future registration entry fees.
In addition to deferrals, the B.A.A. will be enhancing accommodations for recent mothers on race weekend. For more than a decade, mothers have been provided the opportunity to utilize designated tents at the start and finish of the Boston Marathon for lactation pumping. In response to the overwhelming support of this program and the accompanying medical device transport program (where race officials transport devices such as breast pumps from the start to finish), the B.A.A. plans to share additional accommodations as race day approaches. The B.A.A. is currently consulting a group of mother runners to help facilitate best practices at our events. More information will be shared with participants over the coming months.
ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)
Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A. manages the Boston Marathon, and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round programming. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock. The 127th Boston Marathon is scheduled to take place on Monday, April 17, 2023. For more information on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.