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Concept: Boston Marathon


Bright sunlight filtered through the awnings of the medical tent pitched in Copley Square, where I joined the many medical professionals caring for people who’d fallen ill from their 26.2-mile run. Some volunteers had been staffing the medical tent for years - one nurse had worked at the Boston Marathon more than 25 times. Sickened and stressed runners poured into our makeshift hospital. A runner stumbled in and vomited into a bag. We helped him onto a cot, where he sat shivering. “You’re OK,” a nurse said gently, wiping his face. But his core temperature had dropped to 96 degrees, . . .

Concepts: Health care, Patient, Marathon, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors, Bobbi Gibb, Copley Square


At 2:50 p.m. on April 15, nearly 3 hours after the first runner completed the Boston Marathon, two blasts ripped through the crowd that was gathered along the approach to the finish line, killing 3 people and injuring more than 260. Within moments, the crowd’s initial panic was replaced by purposeful action, as bystanders ran to, rather than from, the horror to help the injured. Law-enforcement and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel swiftly converged on the scene. Within minutes, ambulances began transporting the most critically injured to nearby hospitals. Once victims reached Boston’s hospitals, the story continued in the same . . .

Concepts: Ambulance, Emergency medical services, Massachusetts, Emergency medical technician, Marathon, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors


School staff provide key mental health services following mass crisis events and teachers, in particular, can provide important supports within their classrooms. This study examines Boston-area teachers' perception of classroom-wide psychiatric distress and the types of supports that schools and teachers provided following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt. Boston-area K-12 teachers (N = 147) in communities with varying levels of exposure to the bombing and manhunt completed an anonymous web-based survey 2-5 months after the attack. Teachers reported on students' exposure to the bombings and manhunt, classroom-wide psychiatric distress, and the types of supports they and their schools provided students. Teacher reports of student exposure to the bombings and manhunt were significantly associated with their perceptions of greater classroom-wide psychiatric distress. Almost half indicated that their school had no formal policy for responding to the crisis, half reported no training to address events, and even the most common classroom-based support strategy-reassuring students of their safety-was provided by only 76 % of teachers. Teacher perceptions of student exposure to the manhunt, but not the bombing, were significantly associated with greater provision of these supports. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt, teachers and schools provided supports; however, the extent and types of supports varied considerably. Working with teachers to most effectively and consistently serve in this complex role has the potential to improve school-based crisis response plans, as well as student outcomes.

Concepts: Psychology, Education, Mental health, High school, School, Teacher, Marathon, Boston Marathon


As we say in the U.S. Navy, “We train like we fight, and we fight like we train.” In Boston, we do the same. That was never more evident than at 2:50 p.m. on April 15, when two explosive devices abruptly shattered the 117th Boston Marathon. On Patriot’s Day, the day we commemorate the opening battle of the Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord, Boston was under attack. Over the past 8 years, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has activated the emergency response team on 78 occasions. We have activated it for both real-world events and drills based on a . . .

Concepts: Massachusetts, Boston Marathon, American Revolutionary War, Patriots' Day, Battles of Lexington and Concord, Lexington, Massachusetts, Paul Revere, Battle of Bunker Hill


It is not known whether global warming will affect winning times in endurance events, and counterbalance improvements in race performances that have occurred over the past century. We examined a time series (1933-2004) from the Boston Marathon to test for an effect of warming on winning times by men and women. We found that warmer temperatures and headwinds on the day of the race slow winning times. However, 1.6°C warming in annual temperatures in Boston between 1933 and 2004 did not consistently slow winning times because of high variability in temperatures on race day. Starting times for the race changed to earlier in the day beginning in 2006, making it difficult to anticipate effects of future warming on winning times. However, our models indicate that if race starting times had not changed and average race day temperatures had warmed by 0.058°C/yr, a high-end estimate, we would have had a 95% chance of detecting a consistent slowing of winning marathon times by 2100. If average race day temperatures had warmed by 0.028°C/yr, a mid-range estimate, we would have had a 64% chance of detecting a consistent slowing of winning times by 2100.

Concepts: Time, Effect, Affect, Marathon, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors, Bobbi Gibb


Across three studies, we examined the role of shared negative experiences in the formation of strong social bonds-identity fusion-previously associated with individuals' willingness to self-sacrifice for the sake of their groups. Studies 1 and 2 were correlational studies conducted on two different populations. In Study 1, we found that the extent to which Northern Irish Republicans and Unionists experienced shared negative experiences was associated with levels of identity fusion, and that this relationship was mediated by their reflection on these experiences. In Study 2, we replicated this finding among Bostonians, looking at their experiences of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. These correlational studies provide initial evidence for the plausibility of our causal model; however, an experiment was required for a more direct test. Thus, in Study 3, we experimentally manipulated the salience of the Boston Marathon Bombings, and found that this increased state levels of identity fusion among those who experienced it negatively. Taken together, these three studies provide evidence that shared negative experience leads to identity fusion, and that this process involves personal reflection.

Concepts: Causality, Empiricism, Experiment, Experience, Philosophy of science, Concepts in metaphysics, Marathon, Boston Marathon


To compare finish times across WMM races for Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York Marathons.

Concepts: Marathon, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors, Bobbi Gibb, Berlin Marathon, New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon


We discuss the strengths of the medical response to the Boston Marathon bombings that led to the excellent outcomes. Potential shortcomings were recognized, and lessons learned will provide a foundation for further improvements applicable to all institutions.

Concepts: Marathon, Boston, Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Bomb, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors, Bobbi Gibb


The aim of this investigation was to determine the influence of sweat electrolyte concentration on body water and electrolyte homeostasis during a marathon. Fifty-one runners completed a marathon race in a warm and dry environment (24.4 ± 3.6 °C). Runners were classified as low-salt sweaters (n = 21; <30 mmol/L of sweat Na(+) concentration), typical sweaters (n = 20; ≥30 and <60 mmol/L of sweat Na(+) concentration), and salty sweaters (n = 10; ≥60 mmol/L of sweat Na(+) concentration). Before and after the race, body mass and a sample of venous blood were obtained. During the race, sweat samples were collected by using sweat patches, and fluid and electrolyte intake were recorded by using self-reported questionnaires. Low-salt, typical and salty sweaters presented similar sweat rates (0.93 ± 0.2, 0.92 ± 0.29, 0.99 ± 0.21 L/h, respectively), body mass changes (-3.0 ± 1.0, -3.3 ± 1.0, -3.2 ± 0.8%), total Na(+) intake (12.7 ± 8.1, 11.5 ± 9.7, 14.5 ± 16.6 mmol), and fluid intake (1.3 ± 0.8, 1.2 ± 0.8, 1.2 ± 0.6 L) during the race. However, salty sweaters presented lower post-race serum Na(+) concentration (140.8 ± 1.3 vs 142.5 ± 1.1, 142.4 ± 1.4 mmol/L; P < 0.01) and serum osmolality (297 ± 6 vs 299 ± 5, 301 ± 6 mOsm/kg; P < 0.05) than low-salt and typical sweaters. Sweat electrolyte concentration could influence post-race serum electrolyte concentration in the marathon. However, even the saltiest sweaters did not develop exercise-associated hyponatremia or associated symptoms.

Concepts: Blood, Water, Vein, Sodium, Serum sodium, Electrolyte, Venous blood, Boston Marathon


Message retransmission is a central aspect of information diffusion. In a disaster context, the passing on of official warning messages by members of the public also serves as a behavioral indicator of message salience, suggesting that particular messages are (or are not) perceived by the public to be both noteworthy and valuable enough to share with others. This study provides the first examination of terse message retransmission of official warning messages in response to a domestic terrorist attack, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. Using messages posted from public officials' Twitter accounts that were active during the period of the Boston Marathon bombing and manhunt, we examine the features of messages that are associated with their retransmission. We focus on message content, style, and structure, as well as the networked relationships of message senders to answer the question: what characteristics of a terse message sent under conditions of imminent threat predict its retransmission among members of the public? We employ a negative binomial model to examine how message characteristics affect message retransmission. We find that, rather than any single effect dominating the process, retransmission of official Tweets during the Boston bombing response was jointly influenced by various message content, style, and sender characteristics. These findings suggest the need for more work that investigates impact of multiple factors on the allocation of attention and on message retransmission during hazard events.

Concepts: Communication, Terrorism, Marathon, Negative binomial distribution, Boston Marathon, Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, World Marathon Majors, Official