4,300 Runners Skipped the Boston Marathon

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Want another sign that this winter was more like a spring and this spring is more like a summer? Just look at the Boston Marathon, a usually great sporting tradition in the great sports town, made slightly less great this year when only 22,426 of the 26,716 registered runners showed up for the sweltering race today.

We don't blame those 4,300 or so quitters from choosing not to run 26.2 freaking miles in 80+ degree heat, as was the case today, clearly another example of the really hot 2012 the U.S. is having. The Boston Marathon organizers don't blame them either, since they warned less experienced runners of the health perils such high-temp marathoning ahead of the race. (We'll note that the whole idea of marathons is a commemoration of some Greek guy who died from too much running.) But so many dropping out of the historic race is still surprising, since a spot in it, capped at 27,000, is highly coveted in the running world. Although many of the would-be marathoners are getting deferments to race next year. The heat slowed this year's male winner, Wesley Korir, to the race's second slowest time since 1985.

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This isn't the first really hot Boston Marathon. "The Boston Marathon has had its share of hot weather, with the thermometer hitting 97 degrees during the 1909 race that came to be known as 'The Inferno' and the 1976 'Run for the Hoses' that started in 100-degree heat and finished with spectators sprinkling winner Jack Fultz with garden hoses to cool him down," reports the AP. Internet, we challenge you to come up with a cleverer name for today's race.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.