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Boston Marathon 2012: Intense Heat Slows Runners in Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon 2012
Runners start the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday morning. (Stew Milne / Associated Press / April 16, 2012)
Boston Marathon 2012
Runners start the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday morning. (Stew Milne / Associated Press / April 16, 2012)

The 2012 Boston Marathon kicked off this morning, but there are not as many participants running in the race as expected. The unusual heat has knocked out some of the race’s runners.

At 9:17 a.m. the temperature was already 69 degrees when the wheelchair racers left Hopkinton. Not even a half hour later, the temperature had already rose to 71 when the women began their race at 9:32. When the rest of the participants started the race at 10, the temperature had gone up to 73.

As of now, the runners are expected to face temperature in the mid-80s when the get back to Boston’s Back Bay.

Though it is early in the race, the heat is already affecting the participants. The leaders are running a slower pace than they normally do and the women went at a much slower pace than usual. They ran the first few miles of the race at a rate that would ultimately have them finish the race in 2 hours, 38 minutes. If they continue with the same pace they have right now, it would be the slowest Boston Marathon women’s time since 1978.

It would be a drastic difference from last year when Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in two hours, three minutes and two seconds. He is back this year to defend his title along with Carolina Kilel who won the women’s race last year.

Organizers of the race warned inexperienced runners about the heat.

“Only the fittest runners should consider running,” the La Times reported Boston Athletic executive director Tom Grilk saying on Sunday. “The risks that you’ll see tomorrow are simply greater than normal.”

But not everyone is afraid of a little heat.

“You’ve got to know your own body,” the La Times quoted Mike Buenting of Minneapolis saying when he was waiting for the the race to start. “You have to know how to hydrate and the rest will take care of itself.”

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