Boston weather a hurdle for marathon training

BOSTON -- How do you make 26.2 miles feel longer? Just add snow and potholes.

Runners training for this year's marathon have seen quite a bit of both, CBS Boston reports.

The city has suffered through its harshest stretch of weather in history as blizzard after blizzard dumped record amounts of snow. After the snowiest and coldest February ever, the average temperature so far in March is just 31.8 degrees, tying the record low.

For runners trying to ramp up their training ahead of the big race, it's been a real challenge.

Instead of cheering crowds, one runner named Beth has encountered some less-than-happy drivers. "Sometimes you get a bunch of thumbs up, 'Good for you.' Sometimes it's not a thumb, it's another finger," she said.

Meghan Ford, who goes to the Naval Academy, and her mom Ginny are running with an asterisk -- performance enhancing sunshine. Meghan has spent time training in Maryland, while her mom admitted that she spent a couple of weeks in Aruba this winter.

Marathon Monday is April 20 -- less than four weeks away -- and Hopkinton High School, which is the staging area for 30,000 runners, is still layered with snow.

The race director Dave McGillivray admits the weather has made things difficult, but he is confident that the route will be safe for runners and spectators on race day.

"It'll be race ready on April 20," McGillivray said.

McGillivray remembers directing the marathon after the previous snowiest winter in 1996. "For the 100th running of the Boston Marathon it snowed significantly a few days before the race," He said.

McGillivray is thinking about taking a page from Fenway Park's playbook and using black sand to absorb the sunshine to help melt the Hopkinton snow faster.

Meanwhile, in the eight towns along the route, pothole patrols will be out in force starting April 1.

But despite these extra challenges, residents say the Boston Strong spirit be on full display when Marathon Monday arrives.

running in snow
Runner Becca Pizzi, 34, trains along Heartbreak Hill in Newton, Mass., on Feb. 27, 2015.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola