If you have not heard the news yet, race organizers stopped the marathon because of record high temperatures.
From the Chicago Tribune:
One dead in heat-shortened marathon 302 runners hospitalized, officials say
"During the hottest Chicago marathon on record Sunday, a Michigan man died after collapsing and, for the first time in its history, one of the world's preeminent races was cut short before thousands of runners crossed the finish line.
Though many runners complained of a lack of drinking water on the course, Shawn Platt, a senior vice president of LaSalle Bank, said this afternoon that race officials found no such problem.
With temperatures soaring to 88 degrees, city and race officials decided about 11:30 a.m. to end the race. Runners before the halfway point were diverted back to the start, while the rest were told by police and firefighters that the race was finished and that they should walk the remaining distance to the finish.
Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said 312 runners were taken from the course by ambulance with what he described as heat-related conditions. He said city ambulances took 146 people to hospitals in good condition, and the rest were taken to hospitals or medical aide stations along the route by private ambulance.
Today, lots of people will be very disappointed that they did not get to complete a race.
Today, lots of people will be pointing fingers and saying that if Chicago can't put on a marathon, and not run our of water on the course, how can they possibly host the Olympics?
Today, all I will say is that I'm so very proud of my two training pals. They finished strong, under very difficult circumstances, and for that they should be very proud.
This race reminds me of another marathon not so long ago. Do you remember this story from the Boston Marathon as published in the Boston Globe in 2004?
Heat was too much to bear In warmest race since 1987, more than 1,100 treated
"More than 1,100 runners suffered dehydration, heart ailments, and other medical problems at the Boston Marathon yesterday in near-record heat, more than twice as many injuries as medical officials have seen in recent years.
Though most of the ailing athletes were treated and sent home, at least one runner suffered a heart attack on the course and had to be revived. Another competitor experienced serious respiratory problems. Both were taken to hospitals but were expected to recover, said Rich Serino, Boston Emergency Medical Services chief.
With the exception of the historic 100th running of the Marathon in 1996, veterans of the race said they could not recall such heavy volume at the main medical tent in Copley Square or at satellite facilities along the 26.2-mile course. Hospital emergency rooms also reported a flood of patients, with Newton-Wellesley Hospital summoning workers from across the medical center to tend to more than 70 runners.
"People look pretty miserable," said Dr. Peter Moyer, medical director of Boston EMS. "Makes you not want to be in a marathon."
The temperature reached 85 degrees, the hottest marathon since 1987, when the high was 87. But there was one major difference between those two races: At more than 20,000 runners strong, the 2004 version had more than three times as many participants. More than 40,000 runners entered the 1996 marathon, the all-time record, resulting in 1,300 injuries."
Unlike Chicago, the Boston race organizers did not stop the race, and did not run out of water and Gatorade.
I suspect that the arguments, the finger pointing, and the recriminations have already begun.
But personally I would blame it on Global Warming, and bring lots of salt tablets, a Camelback and/or fuel belt to my next marathon. Oh yes, and of course check the weather before the race.