2015 New York City Marathon: Light Wind, Favorable Temperature to Benefit Runners

By By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
November 02, 2015, 9:01:27 AM EST

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Over a 26.2-mile course on Sunday, Nov. 1, more than 50,000 runners will navigate through the five boroughs of New York City as part of the 45th annual New York City Marathon.

"A thick cloud cover will be around in the morning, with temperatures generally in the middle to upper 50s F", said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jordan Root.

Wind will be out of the southwest between 5 and 10 mph this morning, he added.

"A quick passing light shower is possible before noon today, but if one were to occur, it likely wouldn't cause any problems for runners", Root noted.


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With so many entrants in the marathon, organizers have set up five different start times for runners to take to the course. The first wave to take the starting line will be the professional women racers at 9:20 a.m. EST. The last wave is set to start at 11 a.m. EST.


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The average finish time for the 2014 marathon was 4 hours, 34 minutes, 45 seconds, according to the marathon’s website. Race day in 2014 brought highs near 48 F along with windy conditions and cloudy skies.

The forecast for this year's event looks promising for runners, according to Bart Yasso, chief running officer for Runner's World.

The light wind is key, because the start of the marathon is at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island and it can be “really breezy up there,” said Yasso, who has run the marathon three times.

“A very little wind will make a big difference, a big advantage to the runners,” said Yasso.

If faced with a headwind, runners try to duck behind one another to have the person ahead of them block the wind and they become less worried about their pace, Yasso explained. A lot of times on windy days, the winning times tend to be slower because no one wants to commit and run fast by racing to a lead. Even for those in the middle or back of the pack, they just want to be with a group and stay out of the wind, he said.

Temperatures in the 50s are favorable, Yasso said. Highs in the upper 60s or low 70s would be too warm, and temperatures in the high 30s or low 40s would be too cold for a lot of runners, he continued.

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Dr. Melissa Leber, assistant professor of sports medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System, previously told AccuWeather that the ideal athlete will have already warmed up with indoor activities, before they begin their run.

“Cooler weather means that runners will likely not need as much hydration as compared to warmer weather when they're sweating," Leber said.


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Doing cardio work and finding the proper balance of clothing to retain body heat is how runners typically can stay warm prior their run, she said. Wearing several layers that can be easily discarded as the race begins is common practice among marathon entrants.

Runner’s World has compiled a list of the ideal throwaway gear for runners to wear to keep warm before a race including pajamas, bathrobes and blankets. Last year, over 207,000 pounds of clothing was collected and donated to Goodwill Industries of New York and New Jersey, the marathon's website states.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.

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