Boston Marathon Race Weather Obsession
By Raymond Britt for Competitor Magazine
What's among the most important things on the minds of Boston Marathon entrants as race day approaches?
The Weather Forecast.
In fact, analysis of a year's worth of google searches shows that by April, interest in 'Boston Marathon weather' trends at double the rate of 'Boston Marathon course'. Notably, interest in 'Boston Marathon start' is about the same as the weather.
Why the obsession with Weather?
Because Boston's race day weather has proven to be anything but predictable. The runner who's been training for months to hopefully have a terrific race in perfect weather conditions may see those hopes upended once they reach the starting line in Hopkinton.
Our analysis of weather and Boston Marathon average finish times over the last 15 years illustrates how wildly the range of temperatures and conditions can fluctuate during the race.
And the fluctuations in race day often were unforeseen on the previous evening's cable TV weather forecast.
How much does weather impact Boston Marathon finish times?
Our analysis of average temperatures and finish times from 1999 to 2014 shows a pattern suggesting temperatures in the low to mid 40s will lead to finish times at or below the 15 year average of 51 degrees and a 3:51 finish.
But as temperatures trend progressively higher, so do the finish times.
The 2014 marathon relatively higher average finish time of 4:02 and probably has more to do with thousands of additional charity and other non-qualifiers running slow times.
What's Your Best Race Strategy When The Weather Changes?
The best advice, I'd say, is psychological. You've trained for months, you're in peak condition, it's an incredible race experience -- you've simply got to push conditions out of your mind.
Others around you may suffer or complain if conditions get bad, but don't let them convince you to give in to conditions you didn't welcome.
Despite the weather, give it all you've got. Never settle. Drive yourself to the finish line with undeniable determination and passion. Have the race of your life, weather or not (pun intended).
Conditions will change. Your race doesn't have to. Be the one who defies the weather and has the race of your life. Good luck out there.