NCAA All-American Renee Metivier Baillie will be running
her first marathon on Sunday. (Photo by Jakub Rudnik)
By Jakub Rudnik
Posted: Friday, Oct. 5, 2013
With the possibility of “ice pellets or snowflakes,” according to marathon analyst Tim Hutchings, weather conditions were at the forefront of questions during Friday’s elite runners press conference for the Chicago Marathon.
According to forecasts, temperatures are expected to be in the low- to mid-30s for Sunday's 7:30 a.m. start and get no higher than the mid-40s by the end of the race.
The elite runners, both men and women, had different takes on the weather conditions. Kenya's Wesley Korir, winner of the 2012 Boston Marathon and one of the favorites to win Chicago, brushed off the question, saying: “There are things you can’t control.”
Some runners suggested that the cold would benefit them and their race times. When asked about the effect the weather would have, three-time defending women’s champion Liliya Shobukhova of Russia, speaking through a translator, said: “My first marathon in 2010 was also cold and I won.”
Shami Dawit, who is running his first World Marathon Majors event, said he
would “like it a little hotter, I have no fat on my body.” He would not
use it as a crutch, however.
“For all the runners the weather is the same, said Dawit, from Ethiopia, who added that he would just need a longer warm-up than normal.
The weather was viewed neutrally by the elite runners, but organizers say they prefer the colder temperatures. Many remember 2007, when 87-degree temperatures brought the race to a halt when one person died and 300 were treated for heat-related ailments.
“We can communicate to runners via email or text for updates on weather conditions,” Hutchings said. “Cold weather provides less challenges for us than the warmer weather.”
Pre-race perspectives from elite American runners:
Race Notes: Raji Assefa of Ethiopia has withdrawn from the competition. At the request of the Ethiopian Federation, he will compete in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships on Oct. 6 in Kavarna, Bulgaria ... The wheelchair division will start at 7:20 a.m. ... The elite runners will start at 7:30 a.m., followed by two waves of runners, 45,000 in all.
Return to home page
Feedback: Contact the reporter via Twitter or leave a comment below.