Boston Marathon 2012 – Hotbreak Hill


120 Hospitalized,  2,000 Treated As Marathon Slowed by Extreme Heat

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events.  Who has not heard of Heartbreak Hill – the final hill between Mile 20 and 21?

Only second to the Super Bowl, the Boston Marathon is the second largest single day sporting event in the world in terms of media coverage – 1,100 media members across 250 outlets.  The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England’s most widely viewed sporting event.

While this year’s race was marred by a deadly  terrorist attack, last year’s race also was impacted by a serious security threat — global warming.

In 2012, temperatures reached 89 degrees and race organizers were warning participants not to run.  As a result:

  • 4,300 qualified participants (approx. 15%) elected not to run in 2012
  • Six of the 17 elite women’s runners did not finish, while four of the 20 elite men’s runners also did not finish – including the defending champions in each;
  • 2,000 runners received medical treatment; and
  • 120 runners were taken to the hospital via ambulance.

Even with the heat, the U.S. was unable to break its slump in Boston as Kenyans won in both the men’s and women’s classes.  The last Americans to win at Boston were Greg Meyer in 1983 and Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985.




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