Heat and humidity will make for stifling conditions in the marathon at the 2007 IAAF World Championships. The men’s marathon will be the first event of the championships on Saturday, August 25, while the women’s marathon will take place on September 2, the final day of the championships.
Temperatures at the start will be close to the forecast high for Saturday of 35C/95F. Coupled with the humidity, the outcome of the race becomes highly unpredictable.
The two big names in the men’s race will be two-time defending champion Jouad Gharib of Morocco and New York Marathon winner Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa. Ramaala has the fastest time in the field, though Gharib beat Ramaala by two seconds at the Flora London Marathon this year.
Other contenders include Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri, who beat both Gharib and Ramaala at London in just his first marathon. Benson Cherono of Qatar has an excellent record in hot weather marathons, having won the Beijing International Marathon and placed third on a scorching day at the 2005 Boston Marathon. His teammate Mubarak Hassan Shami has the fastest time in the world this year. Strong teams have been sent by Ethiopia and Japan.
The race starts at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. You can follow live on the IAAF Web site and listen to live audio.
Who do you think will win? Comment and make your pick.