2018-04-16 10:48:02
Boston Marathoners Face Driving Rain and Blustery Wind

10:48, April 16 242 0

BOSTON — Boston Marathon runners on Monday faced teeming rain and the coldest temperatures at the starting line in 30 years. When the race began, the temperature hovered at 38 degrees, and a 10 mile an hour headwind blew in runners’ faces.

“The cold, the wet and the rain – that’s the three worst things you can have, and you have that in one race,” Abdi Abdirahman, a four-time United States Olympian said on Sunday night. “A lot of guys have been talking about it, trying to be the tough guy and say, ‘Oh, I’m not worried about it, I will just have to deal with it.’ But you know, we will find out how many people are still intact after 30K.”

Data suggests that marathoners run their fastest races when the temperature is in the 40s – but the study excludes wind. The temperature is expected to climb throughout the day.

There were fewer fans cheering racers at the starting point. The fans who opted to brave the weather taped plastic bags to their sneakers and wore trash bags in lieu of waterproof jackets.

At the starting line, runners crossed their arms over their chests, rubbing their forearms and jumping up and down in an attempt to stay warm. As a precautionary measure, the athletes were all given two bib numbers so they could put one on each layer of clothing.

The temperatures and winds are likely to cause race times to be slower. Runners will be less likely to run out in front of the pack early on.

“No one wants to go out and run in a 30-mile an hour headwind alone,” runner Joseph Gray said on Sunday. “It changes the race a lot.”

The rain was so bad that the traditional Patriots’ Day Red Sox game was postponed for the first time since 1984.

The wheelchair races began at a significantly slower pace than usual as athletes were cautious on wet roads.

It was not the first time runners endured chilly weather for the race. During a nor’easter storm in 2007, winds gusted at 30 m.p.h. and temperatures hovered in the mid 40s. In 2015, there was also a strong headwind.