BOSTON (CBS) – The main concern for the 27,000 runners set to compete in the Boston Marathon on Monday will be the heat.
Related: Boston Marathon Guide
With temperatures expected to approach the high-80’s for the 116th running of the marathon, runners have been urged to exercise caution during the 26.2-mile trek.
Extra police officers and medical personnel will be on hand across the course just in case.
The elite field for the 2012 marathon features some familiar faces and some newcomers.
Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai, last year’s winner, will be back to defend his title. He finished Boston in 2011 with a record time of 2:03:02, beating the course record by almost three minutes. The time is the fastest in world history, but was not officially recognized due to the fast course conditions (which included a tail wind).
Looking to knock Mutai off his pedestal will be 10 fellow countrymen including Levy Matebo, Wesley Korir and Josphat Ndambiri. Two Americans cracked the elite field as well, with Nicholas Arciniaga of Flagstaff, Arizona and Jason Hartmann of Boulder, Colorado, each looking to win their first Boston Marathon.
Noticeably absent is prominent American runner Ryan Hall, who finished third in 2009, fourth in 2010, and fourth in last year’s race. No American man has won the race since Greg Meyer in 1983.
While Hall won’t be running the marathon in 2012, he did take the time to wish fellow runners all the best:
The winner in last year’s race, Caroline Kilel of Kenya, is back again this year, looking for her second Boston title.
Seven other Kenyans, including Rita Jeptoo and Diana Sigei, will be among the elite runners competing on Marathon Monday.
The elite field for the women includes no Americans. Desiree Davila placed second last year, but will not run in this year’s race after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic marathon team.
STORIES TO WATCH FOR
Legendary Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will be running in his first Boston Marathon. He and his wife are running to raise awareness and research money to combat strokes.
Dick and Rick Hoyt are back to compete in their 30th Boston Marathon.
Matt Brown, who was paralyzed from the neck down two-and-a-half years ago in a hockey accident, will be competing. He said the marathon “makes him feel normal again.”
Brian Boyle, who was pronounced dead eight times while undergoing several surgeries after a life-threatening car accident, will be running in his first Boston Marathon.
WBZ-TV is the only local station with live wire-to-wire coverage of the 2012 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16th.