Mother Nature is the biggest, baddest honey badger there is, as anyone who ran (or didn't run) the 2012 Boston Marathon can surely attest.
Clearly, by gracing Beantown with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s, Mother Nature proved that she doesn't give a you-know-what, even with the nation's most prestigious footrace already on the schedule for Patriots' Day.
And the effects of her negligence were far-reaching.
The winner, Kenyan Wesley Korir, turned in the second-slowest winning time since 1985, finishing the race in two hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. Last year's winner, fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, went from setting a world record to dropping out of the race with stomach cramps after 18 miles.
But the effects of the stressful conditions weren't restricted to Olympic hopefuls and top contenders. The original field of nearly 27,000 registered runners was whittled down to just over 22,000 by the time the race began in Hopkinton. Approximately 4,300 participants opted out of the race, with most presumably taking up the Boston Athletic Association on its offer of automatic entry into the 2013 edition.
They can only hope the weather will be a bit brisker next year.
The BAA's medical staff did its best to prepare for the conditions, but still wound up treating more than 2,000 participants—or, about 800-1,200 more than usual—to some degree.
And that's not including the 120 or so people who were taken to hospitals by ambulance during the course of the race.
All things considered, though, the BAA did a solid job of warning participants of the dangers and responding in due course to those who fell ill amidst the sweltering heat.
Next year, though, the folks in Boston may want to appeal to Mother Nature for a friendlier forecast or figure out some other way to mitigate the effects of a spring heat wave, lest the race be overwhelmed with no-shows and sick participants again.