Saturday, April 14, 2012

Good luck Boston runners! Another "The Run for the Hoses"?

Hats off to everybody running Boston on Monday. Amanda at  MissZippy, Bill Fine at Impossible is Nothing  and others.

Alas, it looks like a warm race day so be careful!

I used to live in the Boston area and I remember the story of Jack Fultz in 1976. This is before the East Africans discovered marathoning...this guy happened to be working at some job down south ...Alabama or someplace..during his training. 

The day of the race it was like 100 degrees at the start...just brutal conditions. People were spraying down the runners with hoses to keep them cool...(hence the "Run for the Hoses" name for this day's race)

He ran an ASTOUNDING 2:20-ish that blistering day!  Many elites just DNFed.  Here's the full story on the BAA site.


But for those of us not heat acclimated you'll have to slow down:

From Galloways Book on Running (1984) “Adjusting race pace for heat”:

Estimated temperature at finish…Slower than goal pace
55-60 degrees…..1%
60-65 degrees…..3%
65-70 degrees…..5%
70-75 degrees…..7%
75-80 degrees…..12%
80-85 degrees…..20%
above 85…..forget it, run for fun

He attaches a note: “This chart is based upon my own experience in the heat and talking to other runners. It has no scientific verification, but I think you get the general idea.”

Below 75F, the slowdown is about 2% per 5F over 55F...2% at a 4 hour pace (9:09 or 549 secs/mile) would be 11 seconds per mile. 

Hotter than 75 and you are like an ant caught in honey!


  1. Useful advice, and actually your favorite calculator at is very useful for the heat too. I hope we won't have to worry about that!

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Paul.....yeah, it looks like it's going to be a hot one on Monday! Considering that I'm pretty slow to begin with, going slower on account of the predicted heat shouldn't be too's frustrating, but you can't count on the weather. In spite of it all, I'm psyched to run it...should make for an interesting blog post after I'm done!

  3. Thanks Paul! The BAA is now actually recommending people not run it and are offering deferrals to anyone who wants one. Unprecedented. Still, my whole crew is going for it. Slow will be the word of the day!


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