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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 04/17/2012

Boston Marathon 2012: Heat proves tougher than Heartbreak Hill

Although more Boston Marathon runners than usual required medical attention because of the heat, most had recovered by late Monday.

More than 2,100 runners were treated for dehydration, heat exhaustion and other problems at medical tents along the 26.2-mile course, according to the Boston Globe.

EMTs attend to a runner near the finish line. (JESSICA RINALDI / Reuters)
Temperatures soared into the upper 80s and the number of runners requiring medical attention was 800-to-1,200 higher than in past years, Chris Troyanos, medical coordinator for the Boston Athletic Association, told the Globe. Troyanos said that 152 runners were treated at hospitals; eight to 10 were in critical condition at some point and were placed in ice baths.

Boston Athletic Association officials had warned runners of the forecast and offered reminders for coping with heat. Officials took the unusual step of offering runners the chance to defer running until the 2013 race. More runners than usual, about 14 percent, did not pick up their numbers for the race.

“The running became kind of like a death march,” Tyler Husak, a 25-year-old runner from Olin, Iowa, told the Globe. At the 23-mile mark, he fainted and was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He was treated and released — and finished the race just after 7 p.m.

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital official told the Globe that a woman who had arrived with a 108-degree temperature had responded well to treatment. Two runners taken to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in critical condition were placed in an ice bath for five to 10 minutes and later upgraded to serious condition.

The winning time posted by Wesley Korir was about nine minutes slower than Geoffrey Mutai’s record-setting 2011 victory, which came on a cool, breezy day. Mutai couldn’t finish the race this year, giving into cramping about 18 miles in.

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