So, my ridiculously amazing sister ran the Boston Marathon (again!) on Monday. If you were anywhere near the internet or runners, you know that it was HOT. You might also know that they let athletes defer.
Triathletes were in an uproar, saying things like: most IronMan marathons start in the heat of the day! -or- temps at Kona are always hotter than Boston! -or- marathoners are wimps for considering not running!
While the first two of those are true (not the last one. marathoners are not wimpy!), you need to look at the Boston Marathon in the context of the Boston Marathon.
- 26,716 runners registered for the 2012 Boston Marathon
That number is roughly 10x’s the number of participants in the larger IronMan events. 10 times! You’d need 10x’s the number of medical workers, 10x’s the amount of water on the course, etc.
- Temperatures were predicted to be 30 degrees HIGHER than average for Boston.
Say you’re training for IM Texas, or for Kona, or for the ING Miami Marathon… you KNOW it will be hot. You do your runs in the heat of the day to prepare. You see out warm, humid conditions for a weekend of training. Could you imagine if Kona were 30 degrees warmer than average? I guarantee you that if temps creeper up to 120 degrees, that it would be talked about in the same way that the weather at Boston was.
- BAA felt the need to cover their own butts.
Sadly, we live in a society where people sue for stupid things. I believe this was BAA’s way out of any such actions were someone to get seriously sick or even die from heat-related illness on the course.
That said, my sister and 3 teammates that were registered ran it! How did they handle the heat?
“About 5 miles in, I was paced for a PR. Usually that would be good. But it was hot out, and I had been training in snow. I turned my head too fast at one point and got lightheaded. That was when I decided I had to really hold back. Luckily I had a great finishing time in Philly this past fall, so time wasn’t a concern, because I had my qualifying time for 2013 already.” – Natalie
“ To make a long story short saw three go down at 16 and decides there to really back off.” – Ryan, Rev3 Teammate
So, to everyone that raced, you are truly a badass. To those 400ish that deferred, you made the right decision for you, and I hope that next year brings better circumstances.