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Marathoners are the NASCAR racers of running, trying to keep their radiators from boiling over during 42 kilometers and more than two hours on the road. Sprinters don’t have the same worries about heat and humidity. They are dragsters, generating massive power and searing speed then pulling the parachute in seconds.

The men’s and women’s Olympic marathons will be held in Sapporo, some 800 kilometers north of Tokyo, to escape the smothering blanket that is Tokyo’s average August weather: a high of 31 degrees Celsius, low of 25; humidity at 73%; a “feels-like” temperature or heat index of 38.5 degrees.

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