Tue, 01 May 2012

Boston Marathon 2012

Two weeks ago I ran the 116th running of the Boston Marathon. Weather is often part of the story in Boston as e.g. my first one in 2007 happened after a storm-drenched and very wet weekend. This time, it was the opposite. Temperatures in the 60s in the morning before the start at 10:00am, which tempaeratures climbing well into the 80s for most of the race. The organizers had sent increasingly alarming email to us participants, warning about the weather conditions. And it was unpleasantly hot. Race support was great though: lots of locals had sprinklers pointed to the street; water stops were plenty and amply stocked and, being a nice summery day, lots of spectators made for lots of cheer.

But heat makes for dreadful running conditions. I was pretty well trained, but I ended up running 3:43:55, or a tad slower than in Chicago 2007 (also record heat, with the race stopped around the four-hour mark) and Chicago 2009 (hot, though not that hot---but I was somewhat undertrained). Which makes this a personal worst. Oh well, stuff happens. And it was a pretty rough day---reports claimed that 2100 runners, or about 10%, were seeking some form of medical attention during or after the race which is a much higher proportion than under normal conditions.

The chart below is an updated version of a chart which had appeared on my running page before. I regrouped my prior Bostons (2007, 2009 and 2010) on the left, and the Chicago runs 2007 and 2009 on the right---and each with the current Boston marathon.

(Boston 2012 marathon in comparison to other Boston and Chicago marathons)

So compared to the prior Boston races, I did indeed relatively poorly. Starting slower, and slowing down even more leading to about 1:45 for the first half and 1:58 for the second. Compared to the two poor Chicago races (put of the six times I have ran that race), things are not quite as bad as at least I didn't peak at over 10 min/mile. Weather will always remain a challenge. The previous marathon (which was last fall's Fox Valley 2011) was unseasonally cold and wet---making for a time fast enough to get me back to Boston. I am registered again for this one, so we will see what September brings this year.

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