Because of work being done on Thomas Edison High School*, about a quarter of the Self-Transcendence 3100 racecourse is covered by sidewalk sheds this year. I assumed the runners would see these dreary, constricting structures as an ugly pain in the butt, but then one of the runners pointed out to me that the sheds will provide respite from the sun and the rain all summer long.
* Edison's website features an inadvertent tribute to the race. At the top of the home page is a picture of the school pulled from Google Street View. Taken in July 2012, the image shows two competitors in that year's race making their way around the block. (I believe the two runners are Pushkar and Baladev; Baladev is also taking part in this year's race.)