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BAA’s Latest Heat Warning to Runners for Monday’s Boston Marathon

BAA’s Latest Heat Warning to Runners for Monday’s Boston Marathon

The Boston Athletic Association just released a new statement on it’s website to runners of Monday’s 116th Boston Marathon warning them that, “Only the fittest runners should consider participating.”

The new high for Monday in Boston according to Weather.com is 90 degrees.

Here is the complete news release from the BAA:

Running any marathon involves risks

  • The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk.  It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat.  Only the fittest runners should consider participating.
  • We have put in place a broad array of services and support for our marathon participants, but the risks that will be presented on April 16 will be higher than normal.
  • Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.
  • Another essential factor to take into consideration is whether you have ever run a full marathon in weather conditions involving hot temperatures-and that can mean temperatures even lower than those that may be present on Monday.  Do NOT assume that any experience you have in running a cooler marathon will be a reliable guide in making the decision in whether to participate or defer.  You must factor in the heat.
  • Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon.  We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.
  • For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY-everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety.  Ultimately this is an individual sport in which individuals must take responsibility for themselves.
Boston Athletic Association 

Yesterday, the BAA offered any runner a deferment until the 2013 Boston Marathon if they wanted to pass on running in the heat on Monday.  The BAA also expanded the course time limit by one hour to give runners plenty of time to finish the race without pushing.

RELATED: Boston Marathon Offering Deferments to Runners for 2013 Race Due to Projected Heat – (Signs of Heat Stroke)

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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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