Boston Marathon 2012: Flexible Start Time Must Be Added to Avoid Severe Weather

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IApril 16, 2012

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 16:  Sharon Cherop of Kenya, left, reacts after she edge out Dado Firehiwot of Ethiopia to win the women's division of  the 116th Boston Marathon on  the April 15, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The 2012 Boston Marathon was a giant dud because the hot temperatures wouldn't allow it to succeed. This can all be avoidable. 

Temperatures reached an unseasonably hot mid-80s, and with the high humidity, this was clearly less than ideal conditions for a human body to run 26.2 miles.

There are all kinds of things from this year's race that show just how much the weather detracted from this event. 

Andrew Mach, of The Christian Science Monitor, reported that roughly 16 percent of the field decided not to compete due to the weather. 

Last year's winner, Geoffery Mutai, was cramping, and did not make it past the 19-mile mark. He set the record for the fastest marathon run in history just a year ago. 

Wesley Korir won the men's event with a time of two hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. That is the second slowest time at the Boston Marathon since 1985.  

Leading up to the race, the conditions were expected to be so incompatible with running a marathon that Mach reported:

"Medical authorities on hand for the event said before the event that they were treating it as a 'planned mass casualty.'"

A planned mass casualty? Those are three words that do not belong together in a sporting event that is a staple on the American calendar. 

To help limit the exposure to the elements, this race started at 10 a.m., instead of the typical noon start time, but that clearly was not enough. 

Preparations need to be made that would give them even more flexibility. They need to be able to switch days completely. 

Switching days is far south of ideal. It would be a nightmare for people, city planners and contestants who planned on travelling any distance to compete. 

However, that is all better than the alternative. A race like this does not only cheapen the experience of the Boston Marathon, it can also be deadly, and those things must be avoided. 


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