2018 Boston Marathon: Runners may encounter cool, wet conditions

No matter how long runners have trained, weather is always the one variable that remains out of their control.

Despite whatever challenges Mother Nature throws at them, more than 30,000 runners will race 26 miles to the finish line of the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said there will be seasonable temperatures along with the threat of rain.

"Depending on the track of the storm delivering the rain, thunderstorms may also be a threat to runners and spectators. Pydynowski said.

A normal high for April 16 in Boston is 56 degrees Fahrenheit and a normal low is 41.

Morning temperatures will be in the mid-40s and afternoon temperatures are expected to reach around 50. Winds will blow out of the west at 10-20 mph with gusts reaching 30-35 mph, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Bob Smerbeck.

A cold and active pattern from March is still continuing, but it looks like an end is in sight.

"A cool front will move eastward through Boston the night before with rain, then clouds will break for sun and a gusty wind behind the front on marathon day. A slower arrival of the front could cause rain to linger for the race," Smerbeck said.

The race is broken up into multiple classifications. The first group on the course consists of mobility impaired racers, who will start at 8:40 a.m. The men's elite runners and first wave of participants will start at 10 a.m., about 20 minutes after the women's elite runners. The last wave of participants will begin at 11:15 a.m.

AccuWeather is forecasting a gusty west wind so runners will have wind at their backs, which could potentially help them.

Related: Look back at last year's race: 

16 PHOTOS
2017 Boston Marathon
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2017 Boston Marathon
The elite women's runners leave the starting line for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, U.S. April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Lisa Hornak
Apr 17, 2017; Hopkinton, MA, USA; The elite men at the start line of the 2017 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; General view of the pack of elite women near the start of the 2017 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; A general view as the elite men lead the field in the 2017 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The women's wheelchair competitors leave the starting line for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, U.S. April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Lisa Hornak
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Marcel Hug and Manuela Schar both from Switzerland celebrate winning the wheelchair divisions 2017 Boston Marathon. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
ASHLAND, MA - APRIL 17: A field of elite women's runners make their way along the course during the running of the 121st Boston Marathon in Ashland, MA, April 17, 2017. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 17: Edna Kiplagat of Kenya looks back as she pulls away from the pack during the running of the 121st Boston Marathon in Boston, MA, April 17, 2017. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 17: Edna Kiplagat of Kenya runs the course after pulling away from the pack during the running of the 121st Boston Marathon in Boston, MA, April 17, 2017. (Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOPKINTON, MA - APRIL 17: A runner jumps for joy at the start of the Boston Marathon from Hopkinton, Mass. on April. 17, 2017. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
HOPKINTON, MA - APRIL 17: Wave 1 runners leave the starting line of the 121st Boston Marathon from Hopkinton, Mass., on April. 17, 2017. (Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEWTON, MA - APRIL 17: Kenyan Geoffrey Kirui leads the pack up Heartbreak Hill on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton, MA during the 121st running of the Boston Marathon on Apr. 17, 2017. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) and Galen Rupp (USA) race during the 2017 Boston Marathon. Kirui won with a time of 2:09:37. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Geoffrey Kirui runs down Boylston Street towards the finish line of the 2017 Boston Marathon. Kirui won the men's division. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the men?s division of the 121st Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 17, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Geoffrey Kirui crosses the finish line of the 2017 Boston Marathon winning the men's division. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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Calm and breezy weather conditions haven't always been the case for Boston Marathon runners.

"The early part of the 20th century had a high number of extreme weather conditions for the race, both hot and cold," Smerbeck said.

Michael McGrane, who is the Boston Athletic Association's (BAA) Running Club coach and has run the past 17 Boston Marathons, said he has experienced many types of inclement weather.

"I think I have experienced a good range of weather conditions over the past 17 years including two years when it hit 90 degrees and the nor'easter year," McGrane said.

"The ideal temperature for a marathon is in the range of 50 to 60 F with low humidity and light to no winds. For the Boston Marathon in April, the sun can be more intense and there is very little or no shade on the course at this time of year so it's ideal to have an overcast or cloudy weather day," McGrane said.

Some of the worst marathon weather happened most recently in 2004 and 2012 when the temperatures hit 90 F on marathon day.

When the temperature exceeds 65, a runner's performance in the marathon can begin to decline due to dehydration, McGrane said.

"The last two years the temperature has been 70 and most of the marathoners from our BAA Running Club were five to 10 minutes slower than their goal time due to the warm and sunny day. The other extreme was in 2007 when a nor'easter threatened to halt the 2007 Boston Marathon," McGrane said.

Related: Look back at winter weather that has plagued New England: 

14 PHOTOS
March nor'easters that slammed the US East Coast
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March nor'easters that slammed the US East Coast
A woman walks in the snow during a winter nor'easter storm in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
NEW YORK, USA - MARCH 08: An aerial view of snow covered Manhattan after the snowstorm in New York City, United States on March 8, 2018. Second Noreaster in a week, influenced large portion of East Coast. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW JERSEY, USA - MARCH 07: NJ Transit buses are seen as snow falls in New Jersey, United States on March 07, 2018. Storm alerts for New York, New Jersey and surrounding states were reported. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man plows snow from a street at the Times Square in New York on March 14, 2017. Winter Storm Stella unleashed its fury on much of the northeastern United States on Tuesday, dropping snow and sleet across the region and leading to school closures and thousands of flight cancellations. Stella, the most powerful winter storm of the season, was forecast to dump up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in New York and whip the area with combined with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), causing treacherous whiteout conditions. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman crosses a snow-covered street holding an umbrella in Brooklyn, New York, on March 14, 2017. Winter Storm Stella unleashed its fury on much of the northeastern United States on March 14 dropping snow and sleet across the region and leading to school closures and thousands of flight cancellations. Stella, the most powerful winter storm of the season, was forecast to dump up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in New York and whip the area with combined with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), causing treacherous whiteout conditions. But after daybreak the National Weather Service (NWS) revised down its predicted snow accumulation for the city of New York, saying that the storm had moved across the coast. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ice-covered cherry blossoms are seen near the Potomac River on March 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Winter Storm Stella dumped snow and sleet Tuesday across the northeastern United States where thousands of flights were canceled and schools closed, but appeared less severe than initially forecast. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman takes a photo of the Lincoln Memorial on March 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Winter Storm Stella dumped snow and sleet Tuesday across the northeastern United States where thousands of flights were canceled and schools closed, but appeared less severe than initially forecast. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People walk the snow and sleet-covered streets of New York on March 14, 2017. Winter Storm Stella unleashed its fury on much of the northeastern United States on March 14 dropping snow and sleet across the region and leading to school closures and thousands of flight cancellations. Stella, the most powerful winter storm of the season, was forecast to dump up to two feet (60 centimeters) of snow in New York and whip the area with combined with winds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), causing treacherous whiteout conditions. But after daybreak the National Weather Service (NWS) revised down its predicted snow accumulation for the city of New York, saying that the storm had moved across the coast. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 13: A man walks his dog in near white-out conditions on Clarendon St. as Winter Storm Skylar bears down on March 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the third nor'easter to hit the area in less than two weeks. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 13: A woman walks across the Boston Public Garden Bridge as Winter Storm Skylar bears down on March 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the third nor'easter to hit the area in less than two weeks. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
ROWLEY, MA - MARCH 14: A Newburyport-bound MBTA commuter rail train out of Boston pulls in to the Rowley station in Rowley, MA during a winter storm in Boston on Mar. 14, 2017. (Photo by John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WORCESTER, MA - MARCH 14: A pedestrian carries a shovel through white-out conditions during a winter storm in downtown Worcester, MA on Mar. 14, 2017. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Department of Transportation (DOT) workers clean a snowy street in Brooklyn the morning after a storm on March 8, 2018 in New York, United States. For the second time in less than a week, a nor'easter has moved through the the East Coast. Heavy snow, wind and rain moved up and down the Boston-New York City-Philadelphia corridor closing schools and cancelling thousands of flights. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A pedestrian walks through the snow during Winter Storm Quinn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Philadelphia could get 8 inches, while cities and towns to the northwest may get double that, the weather service said. Airlines have canceled 1,958 flights as of 7 a.m., according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service. Photographer: Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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According to McGrane, in colder weather, especially when it rains, runners struggle to keep warm and muscles often tighten up, which can slow their pace.

"Wind is another weather factor that can slow a runner's time in a marathon. A headwind can slow a runner's marathon time by five to 15 seconds per mile by creating a force against the runner, whereas a tailwind can improve a runner's pace by five to 15 seconds per mile running with less effort required," McGrane said.

The Boston Marathon is well known to feature variable weather.

"In April in New England, if it's a cold marathon day then it's often a slight to significant headwind with the wind coming off the cooler coastal waters. If it's a warm day, then it's often a tailwind with the warm southwest wind. On a rare perfect marathon day, as was the case in 2011, the weather is cool with a tailwind," McGrane said.

According to McGrane, it happens maybe once every 10 years.

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