Health News

Thousands of Athletes Received Medical Attention at the 2018 Boston Marathon

The bad weather was responsible for about 95 percent of the runners who needed treatment, according to the Boston Athletic Association.


Photo by Madeline Bilis

Updated at 12:05 p.m.

A total of 2,785 runners received medical attention during the 122nd Boston Marathon, according to updated statistics released by the Boston Athletic Association. Ten of the 91 athletes transported to the hospital on Patriots Day were still there as of Tuesday at 9 a.m. Despite the brutal weather conditions and busy day for the marathon’s 1,700 medical volunteers, 95.5 percent of the 27,042 athletes who started the race finished it, according to the BAA.

Previously: Almost 10 percent of the 27,048 runners who crossed the starting line during Monday’s Boston Marathon received medical treatment, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

As of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, 2,527 athletes had been treated at race medical outposts, and 81 runners had been transported to hospitals. The nasty weather was responsible for about 95 percent of the treatments, according to the BAA, as heavy rain and chilly temperatures bore down on runners all day.

Because of the cold, runners were at risk of hypothermia, which sets in when the body can’t keep itself warm and loses heat faster than it can produce it. The result is an exceedingly low body temperature and symptoms including drowsiness, clumsiness, and shallow breathing.

But the weather certainly didn’t deter many athletes from beginning their race—it is the Boston Marathon, after all. Despite the incredibly sub-par conditions, about 90 percent of people who registered to run actually showed up. Considering all the things that can happen between the day an athlete signs on the dotted line and the day of the race—injury, boredom, despair about training in the winter, the sudden impulse to go on a last-minute vacation to Maui, etc.—that’s quite the impressive total.

Monday’s weather reminded some race veterans of the conditions during the 2007 Boston Marathon, when the historic race was almost canceled. On Patriots Day 11 years ago, the skies opened up, and it poured. Headwinds notched 20 to 30 miles per hour, and wind chills dipped into the 20s, according to Boston.com. But athletes weren’t deterred then, either: In 2007, 98.6 percent of runners finished the race.