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Day 48 of 112-#whocareswhatididtoday-itsbostonmarathonday!

Congratulations to this year’s “Team Kenya” Boston Marathon winners Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop!  No small feat considering that the temps were in the 80s at the start of the race!  In fact, the Boston Marathon organizers gave runners the opportunity, due to the heat, to defer the race until next year if they wanted; but that option would only be available if they didn’t start the race.  Early reports indicate about 607 people might have taken them up on it.

Team Kenya 2012 Boston Marathon Winners Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop! I love this photo! (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

But can you even imagine?  You have trained for a marathon for approximately 16 weeks (or more) and your body is prepped and ready to go and then you have to either run it in temperatures that will basically ensure:

  • Goal times will NOT be met
  • You will NOT run your best race

Or you choose to not run it at all?  Which leads me to today’s question….. Is the weather at today’s Boston Marathon freaking me out unnecessarily about the weather, and therefore my time, at June’s Ann Arbor Marathon?

Last year at Boston in the men’s race, a course-record was set by Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai at 2:03:52, attributed, in part, to strong tail winds on the course.  This year, the men’s first place finisher, Kenya’s Wesley Korir, ran it a “heat-slowed” unofficial time of 2:12:48; a difference of about 9 minutes.  Similarly, last year’s women’s winner, Kenya’s Caroline Kilel, finished with a time of 2:22:26 and this year’s winner, Kenya’s Sharon Cherop, finished in a time of 2:31:50—again, a difference of about 9 minutes.  Last year in Boston at the marathon, the temp at 10:00 a.m. was 48.9 degrees; today at 10:00 a.m., it was 74 degrees.

Personally, I have always maintained that if one is going to be a runner, especially if one lives in Michigan, that one is going to have to be prepared to run IN ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS.  And honestly, I’m pretty good at it.  I’ve run in temps as low as sub-zero, and I’ve run in temps in the summer, in the blazing hot sun, in the 80s.  Sometimes, you don’t really have a choice.  The weather is what it is and we all have to deal with the hand dealt to us by Mother Nature.


I’ve run all four of my marathons in either October (Detroit Free Press) or November (NYC).  In the chart below, you can see my times, age, the weather temp at the start and the end of the race (I pulled temps for times that were closest to the start and finish time of the race for me), and the mean temperature for the day.

KG's marathon history with accompanying historical weather data.

All temperature data compliments of

What you don’t see in the chart above, well you sort of see it but it isn’t really obvious, is that the number one key to my marathon times improving is experience!  The improvement in times between my first and my second Free Press marathons was about 15 minutes, and the second time the temps were almost 10 degrees higher.

So clearly a combination of weather and experience is going to influence my time for this June’s Ann Arbor Marathon, but to what extent??  And by the way, if anyone can answer this question for me accurately there’s something big in it for ya!

Below are my overall goal and pace times for June’s race, as well as Ann Arbor’s temps last year on this day.  Temps across the board are comparable to what existed at the 2007 Detroit Free Press Marathon, which is a good sign.  See, I’m really into signs.  (Oh, btw…one of my first signs for the race success was Tiger Wood’s victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March—his first PGA win since 2009.  I’ve chosen to believe that his recent meltdown at The Master’s this April has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of how I perform in June.)

KG's hopeful/projected marathon time and pace times for the Ann Arbor Marathon, along with accompanying weather data from Ann Arbor on June 17, 2011.

The average max temperature for Ann Arbor on June 17 is 76 degrees, right in line with last year’s temp on that day. But, the RECORD high for Ann Arbor on that day is 88 degrees!  For fairness in telling the whole story, Ann Arbor’s average minimum temperature is 52 degrees; and the record minimum temperature (1999) is 43 degrees (Insert prayer to higher-being entity in which I pledge excellent, above-board, and 100 % moral behavior for the rest of my life in order to guarantee race-day temps start in the 40s and end in the 50s).  But, what if it is a super hot day?  What if we break temperature records this year?  I mean, as I am typing this right now, is reporting temps in New York City’s East Village at 92.7 degrees.  What the??!?!  New York?!?!  In April?!?!  Man, those global warming scientists are full of crap aren’t they? (Typed with, and therefore to be read with, massive sarcasm).

What if, indeed!  What if the sun doesn’t come up tomorrow (I suppose then it could actually be really cold during the race—if the planet even lasts that long)?  What if I break a leg before then?  What if North Korea actually successfully launches a missile?  Hey, what are ya gonna do?

Yes, I am training harder than I ever have before for a race.  Yes, I am running better than I ever have before.  Yes, I am on schedule/target to get a marathon PR.  And, as I think about it, that’s all I really can do.  Besides, if I train and train and train and due to higher than normal temps I do NOT make my marathon goal, then I suppose…..I’ll just have to train for another one.  Besides, what was I going to do with my time after this June anyway?

Carry on, friends. Carry on.

For more information on today’s race, check out:

In the event you did care what I did today, I swam.  Christy P and I are following last week’s workout schedule since we are doing our long run again on Friday.  However, unlike last week, if for no other reason than I now have the benefit of last week’s training hindsight, I am SUPREMELY confident things will go better this week!

And, in the event that you prefer historic marathon photos over weather data, here ya go:

2001 Detroit Free Press Marathon with Doug Bernardin

2002 NYC Marathon with Doug Bernardin and Ronelle Prickett

2007 Detroit Free Press Marathon with Doug Bernardin and Lynne and Dan Mixer. Can you even imagine how cute Doug and I looked wearing matching running outfits?

There was no way I was going to make it back to Staten Island alive without any food. I can honestly say, without a doubt, best damn vanilla coconut cupcake and cup of milk-evah!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hey there! Googled ann arbor marathon and found this site. I am running it too, and going to post on the course and heat issues soon. My main concern is actually the hills. It has like 525 feet of ascents, which is huge compared to other races. But, I am very excited to be running in the city full of memories.

    June 2, 2012
    • Mark! Greetings! I have to say, since I live in Ann Arbor, all I do is run hills. So you are familiar with Ann Arbor and the route? I think the biggest issue-hill wise-is going to be heading up Huron Parkway to Plymouth, but the good news is that you get to run back down it. It’s not a steep ascent though. The other one will be heading south on State Street. If you want any more specifics on the route, feel free to email me at Cheers! KG

      June 3, 2012

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