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Boston Marathon Offering Deferments to Runners for 2013 Race Due to Projected Heat

Boston Marathon Offering Deferments to Runners for 2013 Race Due to Projected Heat

The Boston Athletic Association is offering runners of the 2012 Boston Marathon, to be held Monday April 16, 2012, a deferment for automatic entry into the 2013 Boston Marathon due to projected high temperatures for Monday morning.

Temperatures for Boston are forecasted to reach the mid to high 80’s.

“For many people, running the Boston Marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” B.A.A. executive director Tom Grilk said on Saturday. “We don’t want people to feel they have to run, because perhaps it’s not the wisest decision under these conditions.”

It’s a nice gesture (and smart legal move) from the B.A.A. that hopefully some runners with medical and heart issues will take advantage of. However, I don’t expect many will due to having already trained hard for this 2012 Boston Marathon and the many non-refundable travel expenses they’ve already made.

(Pierre) D’Hemecourt (race medical director) said to runners with underlying medical issues, such as a cough or a cold or a recent stomach virus that left them dehydrated: “Please don’t run the marathon on Monday.”

“This will be a day where you get hot and dehydrated and may have heat problems,” d’Hemecourt said. “If you do run, run slow. This is not a personal best day. Take breaks to walk and recognize any heat problem symptoms.”

B.A.A. also announced that the couse will be open an extra hour to give runners more time to finish the race safely.

Grilk said the course will be kept open for an extra hour — until 6 p.m. — to discourage runners from over-exerting themselves.

“It allows for an additional 2 minutes per mile to slow down and be sensible about it,” he said. “Be part of what could be a well-remembered experience, but do it in a way that is careful. Ultimately it is an individual sport and individual decision, but we want to make sure we provide people with the comfort of knowing they can make the decision.”

All runners, running Boston and any race or training run, should be familiar with signs of heat stroke.

Those who do run, race officials warned, should be alert to the symptoms of heat stroke: confusion, headaches, nausea, vomiting and excessive fatigue. d’Hemecourt said runners experiencing any of those should stop running and walk to the nearest aid station to be evaluated.

The B.A.A. medical staff also warned runners not to drink too much water, which can also be dangerous. They should drink when thirsty and take slightly more water than they normally do when they train.

“Personal responsibility has to happen on Monday,” race director Dave McGillivray said.

We all hope that the B.A.A. will have a safe and successful 116th Boston Marathon on Monday.

To those that are running, be smart, listen to your body, and pay attention to the heat stroke warning signs.

Remember those that have passed away during marathons and half marathons in the past year in lot less severe weather.

UPDATE: Latest BAA Press Release: “Only the fittest runners should consider participating.” (Full Story)

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