The Boston Marathon kicked off this morning, despite heat forecasts so high that organizers urged runners to consider sitting the race out. Temperatures are expected to hit 88 degrees by 2pm, which would be a record and drastically higher than normal, according to the Boston Herald. "We had to consider cancelation," says Tom Grilk, head of the Boston Athletic Association. Instead, officials told qualified runners that they could run next year instead, and urged them to do so. "Only the fittest runners should consider participating," Grilk says.
But many runners were determined to run anyway. "I think it's quite dangerous," said one 61-year-old, who says he'll treat it like a "training run." Organizers are taking precautions, including putting more fluids and ice out for runners, deploying signs urging them to slow down, and even having firefighters on hand to spray runners with water, the Boston Globe reports. Such heated conditions can have tragic results.