40 years ago, Marathon Monday temps were remarkable

Boston never reached 90 degrees for the 1976 Marathon, but inland areas did.

Hot Prelude To The 1976 Boston Marathon
The forecast for the weekend before the 1976 Boston Marathon. –Accuweather

This year’s Boston Marathon marks the 40th anniversary of the so-called “Run for the Hoses” Marathon—it took place on April 19, 1976 and has become a bit of a legend.

Patriots’ Day that year was hot and humid, with a Bermuda-type high pressure system off the coast, which pumped summer heat northward for several days. The day before was Easter Sunday, and Logan Airport reached a record 94 degrees.

Historical weather map 1976 Boston Marathon
A historical weather map for the day of the 1976 Boston Marathon. —NOAA

The high on Marathon Monday in 1976 was 82 in Boston, but in Worcester it was 91! (Interestingly enough, in 2004 and 2012, it was actually several degrees warmer at the finish line.)

Early leader Richard Mabuza, hosed in Framingham. Led until “Heartbreak Hill.” Finished no. 36.
Early leader Richard Mabuza getting hosed in Framingham. Mabuza led until “Heartbreak Hill” but finished in 36th place. —Frank O’Brien

Since the route runs from Hopkinton to Boston, we can assume it was in the upper 80s and lower 90s for much of the race before it cooled off a bit at the finish line. Add in the sunshine and the pavement, and you have the makings for an uncomfortable run, to say the least. It wasn’t, however, 100 degrees anywhere along the route, as some have been known to say—even if it felt that way to some of the runners.

Winner Jack Fultz in Newton. Official bus with sign.
Winner Jack Fultz in Newton is followed by an official bus with a “Hose the Runners” sign. —Frank O’Brien
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The Boston Athletic Association used to begin the Marathon at noon, but in 2007, it was moved earlier to have the elite runners avoid the heat of the day.

On Monday this year, there will be cool ocean air trying to push in, but most of the race will be finished before it arrives. Temperatures should be in the 50-72 degree range from early morning until midday across the Marathon route. In other words: no repeat of four decades ago.

High Temperatures For Boston Marathon
High temperatures for Marathon Monday 2016. —Dave Epstein/@growingwisdom

Follow Dave Epstein on Twitter @growingwisdom

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