I have mentioned before that I am intrigued by running the multi-cultural New York City Marathon. The traditional method of entry is by lottery, but there is also another way in...qualification by time. The interesting part is that the qualification times are very fast (faster than Boston, in some cases like for the older runners by quite a bit) and the qualification times are not age-adjusted.
That makes my qualification by time a bit more difficult than Boston. For example, I need to run a 3:30 marathon to qualify for Boston at my age, but for New York I would have to qualify with a 3:10. Much more difficult. The other New York qualification metric is to run a 1:30 half marathon...for me that should be slightly more achievable since I am more of a speed runner with a middle distance background. So I'll have to run a half marathon at some point.
To compare where I am now, I plugged my last two fast long runs into a running time estimator, courtesy of Running Times magazine online (http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=6765) and found that I'm still not quite there. But I'm not planning to try to qualify until this Fall, so I have time. My guess is I'll have to focus on speed work, say 800 and 1200 repeats on the track in the Texas evening heat, this summer and then re-build my endurance in the month before the late October qualification effort.
And on we go.