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Amid High Heat, Runners Prepare For Marathon

Volunteers fill cups at the athlete's village prior to the start of the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton. (AP)

Volunteers fill cups at the athlete's village prior to the start of the 116th running of the Boston Marathon, in Hopkinton. (AP)

BOSTON — More than 26,000 runners head to Hopkinton early Monday, armed with water and sunscreen, for the 116th running of the Boston Marathon.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai ran the world’s fastest marathon ever here last year but says he’s never run a hot weather marathon.

“Oh, when I remember about last year it’s not easy to reach the level we did last year,” Mutai said. “It’s not easy to repeat but I’ll try my best for sure.”

Both Mutai and defending women’s champ Caroline Kilel may need to win today to earn spots on Kenya’s Olympic team. The top American marathoners are skipping the race because they have already qualified for the Olympics.

With temperatures expected to rise into the mid-80s, marathon officials have offered registered runners an opportunity to sit this one out and take their chances in 2013. The race’s medical staff is telling people who are inexperienced and those who have been ill not to run.

Those who do participate, including the elite runners, are being advised to slow their pace and not go for a personal record.

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