SBD/April 17, 2012/Events and Attractions

Record Number Of Boston Marathoners Require Medical Treatment Due To Heat

The Boston Marathon saw record temperatures in the 80s for this year's race
More than 2,100 runners "were treated Monday at medical tents along the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course for dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other ailments as temperatures blasted into the upper 80s, shattering records,” according to a front-page piece by Johnson & Sampson of the BOSTON GLOBE. Boston Athletic Association Medical Coordinator Chris Troyanos said that the number of runners “requiring medical attention, mostly at the finish line, was 800 to 1,200 higher than during typical Boston Marathons.” He said that “152 runners were treated at hospitals, and that eight to 10 runners were in critical condition at some point.” Hospital officials credited “warnings to runners by race organizers and advance preparation for making the race safer.” Still, Johnson & Sampson note, “Significantly more runners than normal, 14 percent, failed to pick up their numbers for the race, presumably because of the heat warnings.” BAA Dir of Communications Jack Fleming said that “3,863 people did not pick up their numbers over the weekend to race.” Of the “22,426 runners who did pick up numbers, 427 opted to defer for a year.” Fleming said that “nearly 96 percent of those who started the race finished, compared with 98 percent in a typical year” (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/17). In Massachusetts, David Riley notes “many runners seemed to heed warnings about the weather.” Many at the Hopkinton starting line “swapped tips on heat and hydration, swigged Gatorade and toted salt … to replenish the electrolytes they would lose along the punishing 26.2-mile route” (Taunton GAZETTE, 4/17). In Boston, O’Brien, Smith & Stout report, “One Boston Marathon runner suffered a heart attack and three others were also sent to hospital critical care units.” Dr. Pierre D’Hemecourt, who served as the director of the medical tent at the finish line, said that one woman “suffered cardiac arrest.” At least “30 to 40 runners required ‘ice water immersions,’ a medical procedure in which their entire bodies were placed into an ice bath” (BOSTON HERALD, 4/17).
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