See How They Run, Page 3

By comparison, we will examine The Peachtree Run, a much shorter (10K) race held in Atlanta every July 4th. Here is the heat index chart for July 4th in Atlanta:

Atlanta-July 4th-Peachtree Road Race-24 hours-1961-1990.gif (9086 bytes)

Although this race is held at a time and place far more likely to cause heat-related illness than the Boston Marathon, it is usually associated with few injuries. (Hospitalization rate for the 1979 race was 1.6/1000 runners). Race organizers have placed the start time at 7:30 a.m. Because the race is only 10Km, virtually all the runners are finished before the heat index crosses into the High Risk Zone at 10 a.m. Even so, heat stress can play an important role in race times. Consider this comparison between the 1995 and 1996 Peachtree Road Races:

Atlanta-1995 vs. 1996-Peachtree Road Race.gif (5285 bytes)

The average times for the first 50 finishers in the 1996 race with its 5.7F cooler heat index were ~30 sec faster for the men and ~2 minutes faster for the women. This difference was maintained with remarkable consistency through the first 50 finishers. Of course, since entry lists for the two races varied, it is possible that not all of this time difference was due to improvement  in climatic conditions.

Next Page


[Home]   [The Chart Room]  [The Map Room]  [The Chart Store]   [The Library]
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1998 The Zunis Foundation. Last Modified: April 2, 2009.