Thousands drop out of marathon due to cold, but inspiring moments prevail

BOSTON -- From the amazing to the inspirational, the Boston Marathon did it again -- despite our nasty weather.

More than 30,000 runners started the race in Hopkinton just after 10 a.m. Monday, but nearly 3,000 of them did not finish due to medical reasons.

The Boston Athletic Association says 2,527 participants were treated along the race course, with 95 percent of the medical issues being caused by the cold weather.

Spencer cheering on runners

This very good boy named Spencer didn't let the rain and wind stop him from cheering on the #BostonMarathon runners! 🏃 #BostonStrong #MarathonMonday

Posted by Boston 25 News on Monday, April 16, 2018

In addition, the Wellesley Police Department treated about 130 patients.

“Low body temperature. The minute these runners stop their core temperatures drop quite precipitously.

So there are a lot of cold unpleasant people,” the race’s medical director said.

Emma Chen came to race in Boston from China. She finished in just under four hours.

“It was the most difficult marathon for me. The condition, heavy rain, strong wind,” she said.

Chicky Compagnone ran Monday’s race at 69 years old, but struggled to explain just how it felt.

“There are no words for it. Paralyzed, that’s it, the cold. It’s so cold that your parts don’t work anymore,” she said.

Emotional moments cap frigid Boston Marathon day

However, among the dreary weather and masses of runners there were many bright moments.

Carlos Arredondo, a Boston Marathon bombing here known for his iconic cowboy hat, crossed the line five years after helping save the lives of runners and spectators.

“I saw along the way many survivors and I was very happy to see them. So it was a blessing,” he said.

Bombing survivor Patrick Downes also completed the course Monday on a handcycle five years after losing a leg.

“I am so proud of us being able to move along despite a really hard five years, but we did it as a team, as a community, and that's really the only way to do it,” he said.

Runner Nicole Hamilton of Braintree finished the race and got an even bigger surprise.

“I was hugging everybody and crying a little and then and somebody was like turn around and then he was down on one knee,” she said.

The proposal from Gerard Egan was caught on camera.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever have a better day in my whole life,” Hamilton said.