HOPKINTON – The sweat-soaked faces at the start of the Boston Marathon near Hopkinton Green were relieved by a refreshing morning rain. Some runners danced around puddles, others crossed it. However, for selected participants of the Boston Marathon, traverse the course in the midst of what some perceive as a gloomy climate added to the excitement.
After all, this is Boston, the most iconic race and tour in the world, at 26.2 miles. Before the race, in the Village of the Athletes, the emotion was far from being feigned.
"I call it sunlight because I'm from the Sunshine State," said Amy Veniard, a 46-year-old elementary teacher from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, who finished in 4 hours, 10 minutes, 36 seconds. "I'm fine with [the weather] . . . I'm happy to be here ".
Dan Newman of England was running his first Boston marathon as a representative of the Encephalitis Society. The 32-year-old accepted the challenge of a rainy route, which ended at 3:05:50.
"It's what we do, we run," Newman said. "If it does not rain, we're not training."
The participants in the 123rd edition of the race received a humid salute similar to that of the treacherous conditions of last year, with early storms in the morning from the starting point on East Main Street.
"I do not really care since it's a little warmer than I like," said Nick Marraro, 24, of Toms River, N.J., before he ran a 2:47:44 race. "It will cool us a bit, I do not think the rain will stop us."
Approximately two hours before the scheduled start for wheelchair events, the Wave 1 runners took refuge in the Hopkinton Middle and High Schools, while the runners of Waves 2, 3 and 4 waited on buses near the Boston Common to avoid rains. For runners, a battle with elements is luck, or lack thereof, of a draw.
"I'm used to it," said Robert Blaszak, 36, of Grand Rapids, Mich., Who led the course at 3:25:29. "I've had torrential rain in five of my last six marathons, you just have to get over it."
Last year's race presented temperatures in the 40s along with a deluge. At the start of this year's race, it was about 15 degrees warmer, but the Athletes' Village had flooded. However, just before 9 a.m., the rain decreased and gave way to a gentle drizzle.
Anticipating the inclement weather, officials of the Boston Athletic Association increased the start time originally scheduled for Wave 4 to reduce waiting times.
The BAA also added tent walls and additional heat to the preparation areas and additional medical stations along the route to combat the gloomy weather conditions.
However, the runners embraced the rain and appreciated the help of the tailwind at the beginning of the race that protected their faces from the rain.
"The fact that the weather is cooler here makes all the difference," said Dave Masterson, 54, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Who completed his fourth Boston Marathon at 3:06:24.
"Many in the two tents I visited in the Athletes' Village expressed dismay at the weather, but the general feeling was similar," Masterson said. "The idea was that all riders had to endure it, [and] "He just got over it."
While the cloud layer surpassed the Sun just after the start of the female elite race and before the launch of the male elite field, cold and cold conditions prevailed for the departure of Waves 3 and 4.
However, it did little to diminish the palpable forecast that permeated the start of the eastward excursion from Hopkinton Green to Boylston Street in Boston.