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Boston Marathon Organizers Announce Changes Due to Rainy Forecast

Get ready for another rainy Boston Marathon this Monday.

The Boston Athletic Association announced Friday that due to inclement weather forecasted for April 15, including rain and strong winds with fluctuating temperatures, the 123rd Boston Marathon will see some new start times for runners. The NBC10 Boston weather team expects temperatures to be in the 40s in the morning, and they will rise from there as the day progresses.

Participants in Wave 4 of the marathon will start immediately after Wave 3, according to the BAA, to reduce the amount of time runners will wait in the Athletes' Village before starting the race.

The BAA is also working to provide more ponchos and hand warmers for volunteers, adjust staging areas for weather and prepare for a potential overflow of medical aid stations along the course.

The adjustments are based on what the association learned in 2018, when athletes splashed through the pelting rain, temperatures in the mid-30s and wind that gusted as high as 32 mph.

Desiree Linden became the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985, and Yuki Kawauchi's late surge made him the first Japanese man to win since 1987. Both aim to defend their titles this year.

More than half the athletes in the wheelchair division and more than a dozen elite runners dropped out last year, Race director Dave McGillivray said.

"I'm not saying we weren't prepared, but we weren't prepared for that many because historically it never happened," he added.

Shalane Flanagan finished seventh in 2018 in what she said would be her last competitive Boston race. She recalled Friday how that race was the "perfect storm for hypothermic conditions" and how many people suffered from that, including her.

Flanagan said she doesn't remember much after the halfway point, but the intense cheering of the fans that motivated her to get to the finish.

"Everyone said last year, 'It'll never be like this again. This is a once in a lifetime kind of experience,'" she said. "When I saw the weather foreshadowing similar conditions, I literally said, 'Oh no!' I feel so bad for the runners."

Sarah Sellers, who came out of nowhere to finish second at the Boston Marathon last year, said she knows she can handle the conditions, because she did last year.

"Whether it turns out to be more mild or a cold front comes through and it's a freezing hurricane, I'm ready to roll with it," she said.

Officials also reminded people Friday of increased law enforcement presence, road and public transit station closures on Marathon Monday.

About 7,000 law enforcement officials will be providing security for the race, which is expected to be attended by about 1 million people.

This year’s race falls on the sixth anniversary of the tragic April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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