Part of a series of articles about training for the 2017 Boston Marathon by 19-time Boston qualifier Ty Velde.
Snowpocalypse. Snowmageddon. These were just a few of the words I heard describing the snow storm that hit the Northeast on Tuesday.
With the start of spring less than a week away and the fact the we had 60-plus degree temperatures in Boston just a few weeks ago, this did come as a bit of a surprise. And while plenty has been written about the need to “brave the elements” when training for Boston, which I certainly did this past Tuesday morning, it actually got me thinking ahead to race day.
In 15 years of running Boston, I’ve learned that you can never truly be assured of what kind of weather you will be greeted with when you arrive in Hopkinton. While its highly unlikely it will be snowing, I thought it would be interesting to take look back at the kind of weather I’ve been greeted with over the past 15 years at the start of the race in Hopkinton. It might provide some context for the possibilities come the morning of April 17, 2017.
April 15, 2002 – Boston #1
Conditions: Overcast, 55 degrees (all temperatures in Fahrenheit), noon start
April 21, 2003 – Boston #2
Conditions: Clear, 63, noon start
April 19, 2004 – Boston #3
Conditions: Clear, 75 (temperature at the finish in Boston was 84 by 4 p.m.) , noon start
April 18, 2005 – Boston #4
Conditions: Clear, 67, noon start
April 17, 2006 – Boston #5
Conditions: Overcast, 50 (This was the last year the marathon start was at noon)
April 16, 2007 – Boston #6
Conditions: Light rain (this was the year of on the infamous Nor’ Easter), 51, 10 a.m. start
April 21, 2008 – Boston #7
Conditions: Partly Cloudy, 53, 10 a.m. start
April 20, 2009 – Boston #8
Conditions: Clear, 48, , 10 a.m. start
April 19, 2010 – Boston #9
Conditions: Clear, 49, 10 a.m. start
April 18, 2011 – Boston #10
Conditions: Partly Cloudy, 50, 10 a.m. start
April 16, 2012 – Boston #11
Conditions: Clear, 77 (temperature at the finish in Boston was 84 by 3 p.m.), 10 a.m. start
April 15, 2013 – Boston #12
Conditions: Clear, 50, 10 a.m. start
April 21, 2014 – Boston #13
Conditions: Clear, 52, 10 a.m. start
April 20, 2015 – Boston #14
Conditions: Overcast/light rain (it rained pretty much throughout the entire race), 45, 10 a.m. start
April 18, 2016 – Boston #15
Conditions: Clear, 67, 10 a.m. start
When I look at the past 15 years, while there certainly has been some variance when it comes to the start of race day. The average temperature at the start has been 56.8, and 60 percent of the time the conditions have been clear. Historically, conditions have been pretty favorable for both runners and spectators on Marathon Monday.
However, when it comes to being greeted with training conditions like we saw Tuesday, it’s also a stark reminder of how quickly things can change. Just look at the races of 2004 (heat), 2007 (Nor’ Easter), 2012 (heat). and 2015 (rain). In short, these are the ones that certainly have taught me that while the weather gods have been good to us on Marathon Monday, that when it comes to Boston weather in April (or March), you always need to be prepared to get thrown a curve ball or in some cases, even get hit by the pitch.Follow Ty Velde on Twitter at @TyVelde.