Despite a forecast calling for a Nor'easter Monday, the Boston Athletic Association announced yesterday that the Marathon will proceed as planned. It's possible that could change if public safety officials intervene, but Mother Nature hasn't forced a decision yet.
"Someone once said, 'A little rain never hurt anyone.' If I find that person, I'd like to ring his neck," said race director Dave McGillivray during a press conference at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. "I know that there are a lot of rumors and I'm not sure how they were started but we plan on conducting the 111th Boston Marathon on April 16 at 10 a.m."
McGillivray and the BAA have met with the Mass. Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Public Safety to ensure they deal with the potential elements as best they can.
For example, they plan to add more buses in anticipation of a higher dropout rate among runners. McGillivray said they are working with cities and towns to provide shelter to runners who can't finish. McGillivray mentioned Wellesley College's gym as a possibility.
"The intent is to get them out of the elements as quickly as possible and into some warmth," McGillivray said. "Everyone's affected by this, everyone has a concern. Everyone takes the hit."
The BAA is also looking into bigger tents at the starting line in Hopkinton to keep runners dry.
"Our desire is that if there is any big change in our plans, we would make the decision [to cancel] the day before instead of the day of," said McGillivray. "It doesn't mean we couldn't do it the day of but it would behoove us to get notification out. I can't answer what the conditions have to be to potentially pull the plug."
The race, which began in 1897, has never been canceled because of weather.
Reasons to run
Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center has a six-member squad, led by captain Jay Hewitt
, who is a professional triathlete and member of the US National Team for Long Course Triathlons. Hewitt, who resides in Greenville, S.C., was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes more than 16 years ago. Other team members are Benjamin Clements
and Kathryn Whorf
from Brookline, Hugh Murphy
of Boston, Richard Turcott
of Westford, and Mark Kohn
of Johnson City, N.Y. Money raised by the team will benefit diabetes research, education, and care at the Center . . . Several teachers from the Boston Public Schools are running for their pet causes. One is Stephanie Blake
, a special needs teacher at Thomas Gardner Extended Services School in Allston, who is committed to raising funds for Alzheimer's disease research. Erin McManus
, who teaches first grade at the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School in Dorchester, is fund-raising to support the pediatric oncology unit at Mass. General Hospital's CancerCare for Children. Chad Johnson
of Fenway High School is running to raise money for Read Boston, a nonprofit program to promote literacy.
Steady does it
For Deena Kastor
, going downhill may be more of a challenge than going uphill. After training on mountainous roads at altitude, Kastor views running uphill as one of her strengths. So, what advice does she have for runners looking to conquer Heartbreak Hill? "For the general public that will be running, the best advice for Heartbreak Hill is to just go up it steady," said Kastor. "I know that some people have their pace they want to run. If their finish-time goal is running seven-minute miles, don't expect to run a seven-minute mile up Heartbreak Hill. You can balance it out with the miles before and after. To go more off of effort up the hill, instead of trying to keep pace." . . . Joan Samuelson
became the sixth recipient of the BAA's Patriots' Award last night at the Hampshire House. The award recognizes a sports figure or organization for contributions to their sport and community. Samuelson, a two-time Boston winner and Olympic gold medalist in 1984, founded the Beach to Beacon 10K in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and the race provides donations and fund-raising for a different youth-oriented charity each year. The 10th Beach to Beacon will take place Aug. 4. Previous winners of the Patriots' Award were Dick
and Rick Hoyt
(2006), the Red Sox Foundation (2005), Ron Burton
(2004), Red Auerbach
(2003), and Robert
and Myra Kraft
(2002) . . . After Boston, five events will remain in the World Marathon Majors Series -- London (April 22), the world championships in Osaka (Aug. 25 for men, Sept. 2 for women), Berlin (Sept. 30), Chicago (Oct. 7), and New York (Nov. 4), after which the top man and woman in the points standings will divide the $1 million prize.
Globe correspondent Chris Estrada and Shira Springer of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.