Running from Global Warming

Photo by PadsPhotography. Some rights reserved.

Some disheartening news for marathon runners with grand ambitions of record-setting runs – according to research done by Boston University scientists and published in the open-access PLoS ONE journal, the rise in average global temperatures (which we’ve written about here and there) will likely have negative effect on times in the famous Boston Marathon (and thus also in marathons everywhere else).

The research shows an average annual temperature increase in the Boston metro area of .027 degrees Fahrenheit per year for each year between 1893 and 2005, and this year on the day of the marathon (April 16th) was nearly 20 degrees hotter than the average April temp in Boston. The research suggests that a 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) rise in temperature will result in a 20 second decrease in winning times for men and 21 seconds for  women. Of course, because temperatures fluctuate year to year on marathon day, making it hard to track races consistently, it will take considerable time for temperatures to rise significantly enough to make a big difference year to year.

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