It was a heavy downpour of rain from the moment Boston Marathon participants woke up and boarded buses to the start line Monday. And it only got worse.
“It was cold, it was torrential pouring rain, with snow and sleet, and a bit of hail,” said Tara Burr, 39, of Eau Claire. “It is the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you. The winds were so stiff — it was blow-the-doors-off strong. I was laughing because there is nothing you can do about it.”
After she stopped running, Burr said, she struggled to retain body heat, feeling like she was on the verge of hypothermia.
“I’ve never been that way before,” Burr said. “It was scary because it took a while to get our gear bags and into a changing room.”
Burr finished in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 29 seconds. She’s happy with that time considering the conditions and that her Achilles tendon and legs got tight. Burr suffered a pelvis stress fracture last February and missed six months of running. She considers herself back to 100 percent, but she added that it had been 18 months since her last marathon and she wasn’t sure what to expect. So, factoring in the wind and rain, she’s really happy with her time.
“No one will know how tough these conditions are today, except those who did it,” Burr said. “When we got here Saturday, it was beautiful, and it will be beautiful (today), but what can you do?”
Burr said crowds were down from past years, but she was elated to see those who did come out.
About two dozen people from across western Wisconsin competed in the race Monday, which features about 27,000 runners. Boston Marathon competitors qualify based on a combination of their time, age and gender.
Randy Aumann, 52, of Loyal and Darren Standorf, 43, of Elk Mound ran side-by-side the entire race. Aumann said he’s finished all 41 marathons he’s ever started but said if it wasn’t the prestigious Boston Marathon, he might have considered dropping out.
“It was still fun,” Aumann said. “I’m glad we did it; I’m glad we finished.”
Aumann said he was cold, but he wore a wind jacket and hat, and never took them off. His running gloves also were used throughout the race.
“Even if (the gloves) are wet, they still retain heat,” he said.