Inexperienced runners have been told to sit out Monday's Boston Marathon because of record-high temperatures.
Organizers expect a high of 86 degrees during the mid-afternoon when many novice runners will be crossing the finish line near the city's Back Bay. That temperature would be a record for the day in Boston and is more than 30 degrees above the normal high of 55.
"We have determined that the race will occur in a 'red zone' which is considered an increased risk but acceptable for high-level elite runners," the Boston Athletic Association said in a note to entrants. "However, it is not considered safe for unfit and novice runners."
As a precaution, organizers are adding water stations, mobile medical units and have enlisted the fire department to help cool down runners by spraying them with hoses.
Runners who gained entry into the race through sponsors exemptions and charities rather than qualifying times have been urged to defer their admission in the race until 2013.
"If you have underlying medical problems, such as cardiac disease or respiratory disease, think about not running," said Pierre d'Hemecourt, the BAA's co-medical director. "If you have a cough or cold, or had recent gastro-enteritis, don't run."
The 116th Boston Marathon began at 9:32 AM EDT with the women's race. The men started 28 minutes later. Over 27,000 people were expected to compete.
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