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Weathering the wait

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney  April 15, 2010 05:34 PM

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Going the distanceGlobe correspondent Elizabeth Cooney is writing about the Boston Marathon in the series "Going the Distance," which appears in the Globe's G Health section. She's also training for it, and hopes you'll check in with her along the way.

I'll say one thing about tapering: It sure frees up a lot of time, most of which I spend wondering what the weather will be on race day.

On Monday the Boston Athletic Association helpfully sent along information on running in
hot weather, warning runners about heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. "Respect the heat, even if temperatures are only in the 60s (F) on race day."

Then on Tuesday came the message about cold weather, including advice on dressing in layers and wearing hats and mittens, especially if the wind chill picks up as we get closer to the coast. "When it's really cold, wear a face mask or a scarf over your mouth to warm the air you breathe and protect your face."

I certainly understand why they sent both. But it seems like every time I check the extended forecast, the highs for Monday creep up a degree. Now it's 55 and partly sunny, up from earlier hints of 53. Heat may be more of an issue than cold.

Earlier this month I asked elite runner Khalid Khannouchi about the weather. He won the first marathon he ever ran -- Chicago in 1997 -- and has set world records. He's not running Boston, but he'll be here on Monday representing New Balance. He's been training in Mexico although he lives in upstate New York, where it is in fact warmer.

"We don't train for the weather," he said. "We try to do enough mileage and master the distance and do enough track workouts, but we cannot control the weather."

He knows about racing in adverse conditions, which for him means the cold.

"If you have the crowd with you, they will carry you through all the difficulty, all the bad weather, and all the bad things you feel in the marathon."

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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