While thousands dropped out of Boston's Marathon on Monday due to the scorching heat, thousands braved the race, but were treated in medical tents for dehydration and heat exhaustion.
As temperatures soared to the upper 80s, 120 runners were taken to hospitals in ambulances to seek medical attention.
It was brutal, just brutally hot, Jason Warick, 38, a runner from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, told the Associated Press. He had taken an ice bath before the race to cool his body, but it wasn't enough. Around 15 miles the wheels just came off. Then it was just about getting home, he added.
More than 2,100 runners were treated along the 26.2 mile course. The heat caused many more people to walk on the last lengths of the race. Tyler Husak, 25, a runner from Olin, Iowa, described the race as a death march. After the 23-mile mark he fainted and was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he was treated before returning to finish the race, according to the Boston Globe.
Another woman was treated at the hospital for a 108-degree temperature. Many runners who sought medical care were treated in ice baths for five to 10 minutes.
The root cause of every single one of the presentations is heat-related -- anything spanning from some basic heat cramps all the way up to heat exhaustion and up to heat stroke,'' Mark Pearlmutter, the chief of emergency medicine at St. Elizabeth's, told the Boston Globe. Medical volunteers were sent to scan people at the finish line. Many were taken away on wheelchairs, according to the AP. The 2012 race was one of the hottest in Boston's marathon history.
Organizers said that careful preparation for the heat prevented more serious problems during the race.
Two runners from Kenya beat the heat and took the top prizes. Wesley Korir took the men's first-place title and Sharon Cherop won the women's race, claiming first-place prizes of $150,000 each.
Korir finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. It was very important to me to take water, to take fluids, to hydrate as often as possible, even if it led to falling off the pace at times. It's hot. Too hot. In case you don't know that, Korir said after the race.
Cherop, who finished in 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 50 seconds, said she prepared harder this time around and started a lot slower, with a faster finish.
The Boston Marathon is one of the five World Marathon Majors and is the world's oldest annual marathon. It takes place every year on the third Monday in April, otherwise known and celebrated as Patriots' Day. The first Boston Marathon took place in 1897 with 18 participants. On Monday, 26,716 people signed up to run -- however, only 22,426 ran in the end due to the heat.