Bob Poirier has failed to finish just one marathon in his life. That was because it was raining, and the weather exhausted him.

So that is why the Minot resident and veteran of 32 marathons is worried about this year’s Boston Marathon.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on it on the Internet, and then I got an e-mail from the Boston Athletic Association,” said Poirier, 51, who will be running Boston for the eighth time Monday. “It’s going to be tough. When you’re out there for 22 or 23 miles, you get tired, and you can’t keep yourself warm. So I’m concerned.”

Monday’s weather is calling for a possible nor’easter along the East Coast. The BAA’s alert, sent out midweek, advised entrants that forecasts called for heavy rain and windy conditions for race day. The e-mail also made it clear that “all race day plans remain the same.”

The report was not welcome news to newcomers like Douglas Beauparlant, 35, of Wales.

“I was like, ‘Oh no’,” Beauparlant said. “It makes you wonder what’s going to happen.”

James Pickrell, 54, is also running Boston for the first time. The Farmington resident will be competing in his fourth marathon.

“I was hoping it was going to be nice weather, but I’m committed to doing it,” said Pickrell, who works at Franklin Memorial Hospital. “I’ve just got to stay positive and make the best out of it.”

Ironically, the last time Poirier ran in Boston, three years ago, the temperatures were nearly 80.

“It was the opposite,” said Poirier, who works at American Concrete in Auburn. “The key there was trying to stay cool.”

Runners won’t have that problem Monday. Poirier already knows the importance of staying warm from experience. About 20 years ago in the Casco Bay Marathon, he had to pull out in the late stages.

“I got up to mile 20 or 22, and I was feeling it,” Poirier said. “I was getting hypothermic. I knew I couldn’t do it, and I knew I had to get out.”

A friend he was running with that day decided to keep going. When his buddy finished, he was rushed to the medical tent for hypothermia.

“Once you get cold, you need help,” Poirier said. “There’s not much you can do about it.”

Beauparlant says he’s not sure how he’ll prepare. He was enticed to run the race with his sister, Joy, who lives in the Greater Boston area.

“I’m struggling to decide what to do,” said Beauparlant, who works at Enterprise Electric. “I’m up for it. I like running, so I’m up for the challenge.”

Pickrell ran four miles as Thursday’s storm picked up intensity. He’s accustomed to running in cold temperatures, so he feels already prepared, to some extent, for what he might face Monday.

“I was thinking that (Thursday) when I was coming home,” Pickrell said. “I was soaked through, but I was still warm enough. I’m used to some of that. This spring has been cold and wet. So the temperatures don’t bother me. It’s, what do you wear to keep yourself warm?”

A field of around 23,000 runners are typically bused to the start at Hopkinton, which can create a lengthy wait before the start. That has Poirier concerned. He’s bringing a tarp to shelter him from rain while he awaits his start time at 10 a.m. From there, he’ll see how it goes.

“I’m going for it and am going to be scout-ready and be prepared for the situation,” Poirier said. “I’m just going to put a lot of layers on and try to stay warm. I’ll see what I’m like at 10 when I start. Then I’ll strip off layers accordingly, as I guesstimate what it will be like the whole 26 miles.”

Because runners are typically leaner, it doesn’t take long for the cold to make a difference. Poirier hopes to keep his fuel level up with an abundance of power bars.

Pickrell says he has enough clothes to chose from. His task before Monday is to determine what the best combination may be.

Still, Pickrell is excited about the opportunity. When he qualified for Boston last October, that was a significant milestone in his brief career as a marathoner.

“I’m looking forward to it, nonetheless,” Pickrell said. “It’s going to be an interesting challenge.”

Poirier says he’ll just try and not let the weather affect his strategy. He hopes to run a steady race and not press too much

“You don’t do the Boston Marathon to have a good finish time, but to have fun,” Poirier said. “So the key here is to be as smart as I can and take it slow and keep myself warm.”


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