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Low Temps, High Snowfall Challenge Boston Marathon Runners

By Mary Blake, WBZ NewsRadio 1030
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Tom and Christine Mitchell of Lexington. (Photo by Mary Blake-WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

Tom and Christine Mitchell of Lexington. (Photo by Mary Blake-WBZ NewsRadio 1030)

420x316-grad-blake1 Mary Blake
Mary Blake is an award-winning reporter and anchor who joined WBZ News...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Now that the calendar says March, and spring is rapidly approaching, training for the Boston Marathon is in high gear. However, it’s been an especially challenging season for the thousands of local runners, and the primary reason is the weather.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mary Blake reports

“Single temps, I’m not really used to running in,” lamented Jen Hansen of Charlestown, who is a first-time marathon runner.

“With all of the snow, there hasn’t been the access to roads, to sidewalks, to tracks,” said Kevin Garofoli of Hull.

“It’s the cold and the ice,” said Christine Mitchell of Lexington.

Hansen, Garofoli, and Mitchell are all members of Team In Training, a group a charity runners for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Garofoli trained to run last year, but a stress fracture two weeks before the race forced him to drop out. “It ended up being a blessing in disguise, because my whole family, my two little kids, and a lot of friends, were all going to be on Boylston Street for my fortieth birthday to watch me finish,” he said. Gorofoli said he has been fortunate to have access to Nantasket Beach. “I have a place where I am able to run outside and not have to worry as much about the footing,” he said.

Mitchell has run five consecutive marathons with Team In Training. Her three children were on Hereford Street when the bombs went off last year. She never finished the race. She knew immediately she’d be back this year, but acknowledged it’s been a tough training season this winter. “Two winters ago, it was hard with the snow. This is probably the hardest though, I think, just because of the combination of the conditions. We’ve had a lot of ice to contend with. You slip on ice. You don’t necessarily slip on snow,” said Mitchell. She added that on the weekends, there have been especially large numbers of runners training on the marathon course, vying for space with vehicles.

Christine’s husband, Tom, who is also running the marathon, trains early in the morning. “The snow, combined with the cold, forces me onto the roads with the traffic, which I really don’t enjoy because with all the snow, the shoulder is pretty much gone, so I’ve had some interesting experiences ducking out-of-the-way of some traffic,” he said.

Jen Hansen explained that while drivers are usually respectful, there are exceptions. “From time to time, you do get some people, some drivers, frustrated with the amount of people that are out there, and honking and so forth,” said Hansen.

Team In Training is now beyond the half marathon point in its preparation, running sixteen or seventeen miles for its long runs.

The race is now seven weeks away.

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