The 2012 Boston Marathon took place in grueling heat. (Charles Krupa / AP)

Update: Lelisa Desisa Benti and Rita Jeptoo are the winners

The excessive heat that was a problem for last year’s Boston Marathon won’t be an issue today when the 117th edition of the race begins in Hopkinton, Mass.

This year, the weather is expected to be perfect for runners with temperatures in the mid-50s, about 35 degrees lower than last year’s Patriots Day race. “We got a bye,” race director Dave McGillivray said (via the Associated Press). “And that’s good, because we need this year to regroup.”

How hot was it last year? Runners who sat out the race were guaranteed automatic entry into this year’s and about 2,300 runners chose to do so. Wesley Korir, a University of Louisville graduate, was the 2012 winner, gutting his way through cramps in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds. Sharon Cherop was the winner, edging Jemima Jelagat Sumgong to win by 2 seconds in 2:31:50.

Both runners, who are from Kenya, are back this year along with two top American women: Olympic 10,000-meter bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher.

Celebrities in the field of about 27,000 include: Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block; Summer Sanders, an Olympic gold-medal swimmer; and former winners Greg Meyer and Joan Benoit Samuelson (the 1984 Olympic marathon gold medalist). Meyer and Samuelson both won the race 30 years ago; Meyer was the last American man to win it. The last American to win was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.

The race, which covers 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston (see’s interactive map), begins for elite women at 9:32 a.m.; elite men and the first of three waves of runners follow at 10 a.m., with the last wave of runners off at 10:40. It will be carried live nationally on Universal Sports ( available nationally on Universal Sports (channel 625 on DirecTV, 402 on Dish Network) and streamed live on and and

And, as is the Patriots Day tradition, the Red Sox will play the Tampa Bay Rays at 11:05 a.m. at Fenway Park. It’s Jackie Robinson Day, which means that all players will be wearing No. 42.

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