Local Runners Sweat It Out at 2012 Boston Marathon
Three Severna Park men participated in the race on Monday despite record heat.
This year's Boston Marathon on Monday was one for the record books. It wasn't the blistering pace that set a new standard, but rather the blistering heat.
Prior to the race, the ever-changing predicted high for race day steadily crept upward, settling in at about 87 degrees by mid-afternoon. For a race that begins at 10 a.m., that timing leaves a lot of runners out on the course sweating their way to the downtown finish line.
The Boston Athletic Association was worried—very worried.
Two days before Monday's race, the elite organization's medical directors took the unusual step of issuing a severe warning to participants.
“If the temperatures reach certain levels, running will put even the most fit athletes at risk for heat injury. We are now making the recommendation that if you are not highly fit or if you have any underlying medical conditions (for example-cardiac disease, pulmonary disease or any of a number of medical problems), you should NOT run this race.”
The warning recommended walking through parts of the race, detailed symptoms of heat stroke, and advised proper hydration. And because runners tend to be a driven lot, the organization blankly stated, “This will not be a day to run a personal best.”
Monday's weather arrived as promised by the meteorologist: hot and sunny.
Despite the dire predictions and the offer of deferment to next year's Boston Marathon, most runners who had picked up their race packets queued up on the starting line in Hopkinton, a distance suburb west of the city.
Runners largely took the advice of the Boston Athletic Association though and ran significantly slower than they might have under better conditions. Even the elite athletes slowed their paces, with Kenyan Wesley Korir, the winner of the men's race coming in almost 10 minutes slower than last year's champion, with a similar gap for the women's top finisher, Kenyan Sharon Cherop.
The spectators became integral participants in this year's race by handing out ice cubes and cold drinks, hosing down steamy runners, and passing out sponges saturated with water. While most runners made it intact to the finish line, the medical tents were kept busy attending to those overcome by the temperature. An estimated 50 runners were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.
Vic Engleman, Dave Phipps and Sly Mata of Severna Park participated along with other local runners to include Mitch Keiler, Tom Osborn, Mosi Smith, Ben Waite, Nathan Nudelman, Blair Johnson, Curry Graham and Tom DeKornfeld of Annapolis; Tom Hattar of Davidsonville, along with members of the Navy Marathon Team. All made it through the race without significant medical problems.
For more information and the full results of this year's Boston Marathon, go to www.baa.org.
Do you know one of the local runners who participated in the 2012 Boston Marathon? Tell us in the comments.
Editor's Note: This post was updated with an additional name and photo on April 18, 2012.