The Nebraska State Fair Marathon Is Now a Boston Qualifier

The Nebraska State Fair Marathon, in its inaugural year, has been certified as a Boston Marathon qualifier. Billed as the Flattest, Fastest Course in the Nation, The Nebraska State Fair Marathon, presented by Pump and Pantry, will help improve runners qualifying times for the Boston Marathon which occurs in April of each year.

According to Jeff Doose, State Fair Marathon race director, “There’s an exacting process that has to take place in order to become a Boston qualifier. First the course has to be designed and approved by local officials. Then, we worked with the United States Track and Field Association (USATF) course certifier Jason Schuster to measure and engineer the course for approval. Once the course is certified by the USATF it becomes eligible to be recognized by the Boston Athletic Association to become a qualifying race. That has now been done.”

“Boston has requirements for who can run the race. An average marathoner has to run a specific time on a recognized course to be able to sign up for Boston. The time depends on both gender and age,” Doose said.

Nebraska State Fair executive director Joseph McDermott said, “It’s amazing that we were able to qualify for Boston in our first year in Grand Island. The hard work of both Jeff Doose and Cara Lemburg at the Grand Island YMCA has been phenomenal. We believe that the qualifier designation will open the door for more people attracting a higher caliber of runners to our race.”

The inaugural running of the Nebraska State Fair Marathon will take place on Saturday, August 23 beginning at 6:15am. Interested runners can register at There will also be a half marathon and a 5K for the event to include running enthusiasts at all levels.

McDermott said, “The Marathon is good for Grand Island and good for the entire State of Nebraska. The entire race has been retooled from the ground up and thanks to the sponsorship of Pump and Pantry, it has allowed us to apply the much needed resources to make the Nebraska State Fair Marathon a first class event.”