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Boston Marathon is a hot one, but is it the hottest marathon ever?

Temperatures soared Monday during the 116th Boston Marathon. About 16 percent of registered runners didn't compete in this year's race, even as wheelchair athlete Josh Cassidy set a new world record. Kenyan runners took the top three spots in today's race.


Runners make their way across the start line of the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton, Mass., Monday, April 16.

Stew Milne/AP

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Expectations that competitors in Monday's Boston Marathon will be out on the road in temperatures as high as 88 degrees F. prompt the question: Is this the hottest marathon ever?

Many long-distance races are scheduled at times of the year when the weather is typically mild, to avoid extreme conditions for athletes. But there have been past marathons in the US when the mercury has risen nearly as high and even higher. 

The two biggest marathons in the US, in New York and Chicago, have both held races in years when temperatures or humidity spiked. Boston, moreover, appears to be the record-holder for high-temp runs in a major marathon: In 1905 (this year marks the 116th running of the Boston Marathon), the mercury reached 100 degrees. 

The Boston Athletic Association, the marathon organizer, allowed competitors to opt out of the race because of the heat and defer until next year. About 16 percent (or 4,290 registered runners) decided against competing Monday, the BAA said.


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