Marathon halted due to heat
The 30th running of the Chicago marathon
ended in confusion today when the race was stopped due to severe heat conditions. Temperatures reached 90 degrees on the flat downtown course. The winner Patrick Ivuti from Kenya beat Moroccan Jaouad Gharib by 5/100th of a second in a photo-finish and we watched them and other elite runners fly past us at the 12 mile mark.
However only 4,000 runners finished after officials halted the race at the half-way mark 3 hours and 50 minutes into the race. Word is that even those as far as mile 20 were sent confused and disappointed back towards the finish line at Grant Park. 305 people were taken to hospital and a 35-year old collapsed and died near the finish, which I assumed accelerated the postponement.
It was also estimated that as many as 10,000 runners failed to show at the race start this morning due to the expected heat. When we left home at 8am this morning, the temperature was already 84 degrees.
It will be interesting to see how the LaSalle Marathon officials deal with this in the coming days, particularly as many runners sited the lack of water and refreshments on the route. The city, hoping to win the 2016 Olympics, will face an embarrassing few days of questions from runners who had spent months training and from doubters who think that Chicago will not be able to host an Olympic games.Update Monday 10am: Five people remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition