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‘It was all horrible’ — rain, cold prove challenging for some racers

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

By Steve Annear Globe Staff 

Wrapped in Mylar blankets, shivering from the cold rain pounding down outside, a steady stream of Marathon runners filed through the medical tent Monday to seek relief from the frigid weather.

The rain subsided by early afternoon, but race participants like Zak Ames had to push through the wet weather nearly the entire way.

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By mile 7, Ames said the rain started coming down. By the time he reached the finish line, he headed straight to the medical tent, and sat by a space heater.

“Oh, the warmth. That is heavenly,” said Ames, a Seattle resident who ran Boston for the first time.

Wrapping a blanket tightly around his body, he continued to shiver.

“I think I went mildly hypothermic,” he said. “You know that feeling when your jaw starts chattering and you just can’t stop it?”

Volunteers pushed runners into the tent in wheelchairs, and some carried them in from the cold.

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Dr. Pierre d’Hemecourt, co-medical director inside one of the tents, said they have been treating runners for numbness and swelling of the limbs. To warm them up, volunteers were wrapping runners in wool blankets and feeding them broth.

“We’re trying to thaw them out,” he said.

Two special buses were set up to handle the overflow of frozen runners, something d’Hemecourt hasn’t seen happen in the last 10 years.

“Every year is a little different,” he said.

Shaun Fagan, who said the rain started when he was at mile 9, was recovering quickly.

“I’m getting better. It was just cold and wet. That’s a tough combination,” he said. “It was all horrible. But that’s part of the gig.”

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Runners came down Boylston Street near the end of the Marathon route.