By Thalia Lauzon
Boston University News Service
The 127th Boston Marathon faced a projected temperature low of 48 degrees and a high of 55 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, April 17, with light showers late in the afternoon, resulting in optimal weather conditions for peak running performance, according to The Weather Channel forecast.
According to the marathon’s hosts, Boston Athletic Association (BAA), the 2023 endurance run throughout the Greater Boston Area included nearly 30,000 athletes from over 100 countries set to run 26.2 miles in overcast conditions throughout the route from Hopkinton to Back Bay.
The neutral temperature, which is classified between 50.1 degrees and 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit by the World Athletics competition medicinal guidelines, had the potential to create ideal environmental conditions for prime endurance times for the long run, according to a study published in the 2022 edition of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
The study analyzed 1,258 races between 1936–2019 and reviewed nearly 8,000 athletes to determine the best conditions for endurance event performance and lower risks of heat illnesses. Wet Bulb Globe Temperatures (WBGT) between 45.5 degrees and 59.5 degrees Fahrenheit were determined to be optimal for performance, which could decrease by 0.1%-0.3% every 1 degree Celsius outside the range.
Later run conditions, such as slight showers in the afternoon, may affect the event, but could be positive for runners by providing a cooling effect rather than a hindrance. However, if heavy showers occur, it may increase blistering and cause slower times for runners after 1-2 p.m., according to the Foot and Ankle Association of North Texas.
The projected ideal air temperature conditions and overcast skies, meaning less sun radiation, could bode well for Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning marathon world record holder, who will be running in the Boston Marathon for the first time, according to the BAA. The double Olympic gold medalist could set a personal best, which is currently just under two hours, without the hindrance of weather parameters; however, the Boston Marathon time would not qualify as an official world record.
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