(Associated Press photo)
It's challenging enough to run the Boston Marathon. But some runners are facing extra hurdles today before even reaching the starting line.
At least two dozen runners, including at least one elite contestant, have been delayed by flight disruptions caused by the recent eruption of the volcano in Iceland, marathon officials said.
Some of those won't make it at all.
Martin Cunningham, 47, of Bromley, England, learned today that British Airways had canceled his Saturday flight and that he wouldn't be coming to Boston after all. "Game over," he tweeted, according to the Associated Press.
"I really set my heart on doing Boston after completing a marathon in Berlin last September," he said.
Marathon spokesman Jack Fleming said officials are looking into the impact of flight cancellations on the 114th running of the prestigious race on Monday.
Because of expected delays of some European runners, race officials this afternoon made additional provisions for participants to check in and pick up their numbers.
Racers unable to check in today and over the weekend at the customer site, Hynes Convention Center, will be allowed to do so Monday from 6:00-7:00 a.m. at the intersection of Boylston and Tremont streets.
In an statement this afternoon, the Boston Athletic Association said that runners unable to make it to Boston because of travel cancellations should e-mail the organization after Monday's race if they are interested in running next year. "Provisions will be made at a later date," it said.
Elite runner Abdellah Falil of Morocco is stuck in Paris, the AP said. He is now expected late Saturday after his flight was canceled twice. Falil competed in the 10,000 meters at the Beijing Games.
Some flights from Logan International Airport to Europe have also been canceled. The disruptions come on the eve of a school vacation week in the Bay State as numerous residents rush to the airport for spring getaways.
The ash cloud drifting over Europe from the remote volcano has sparked the biggest disruption in flights since the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
Roy Greene of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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