The Akron Marathon has issued a weather alert related to expected heat and humidity for Saturday’s race, especially for those who are going to be on the course late in the race, including marathon distance runners and late relay legs.

If the current forecast holds, the 7 a.m. start will begin under green (or good) conditions, with temps in the low-60s.
For the majority of the race, however, the alert level will move to yellow (or moderate) conditions, as the temperature climbs to the mid 70s.
In the final hour of the race, it could reach 80 degrees, which alone isn’t cause for concern. But high humidity could push that final hour into red (or hazardous) conditions.
Look for alert signs at aid stations and relay exchange zones.

As a result, the following changes have been made to the course:
1) 2 misting stations will be added at Miles 18.5 and 22.2 (presumably since runners won’t be reaching those miles till later in the day after the temperature has climbed.)
2) Instead of distributing heatsheets and Mylar blankets at the finish line, runners crossing between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. will be given cooling towels.

(Note to Blue Line Beginners: Wear what makes you comfortable! You do not need to wear your BLB tech shirts if you want to go with something lighter. You can also adjust your BLB t-shirt if you want to wear it (i.e., cutting off the sleeves), or just wear something else and save your BLB shirt for cooler fall and winter training and events.)

Medical Director Nilesh Shah sent an email to registrants with some information to help you prepare.

Under yellow conditions:
•Slow down.
•Be prepared for worsening conditions.
•Make sure you take in adequate fluids on the course; carry additional hydration with you.

Under red conditions:
•Slow your pace.
•Rest periodically and do not over extend yourself.
•Make sure you take in adequate fluids on the course; carry additional hydration with you.
•If you are at risk for heat collapse, withdraw from the race.
•If you are running a marathon, consider completing the half marathon instead by following the Half Marathon Course at the 12.5 Mile split. There is no need to transfer events.

Here are some tips from the American College of Sports Medicine:

Hydration/Avoiding heat illness
1) Drink 8 ounces of sports drink 2-3 hours before the race to make sure you are properly hydrated before arriving at the starting line.
2) 10-20 minutes before the race, drink another 8 ounces of sports drink. Your urine should be the color of lemonade; clear means you are over-hydrated.
3) During the race, drink up to 8 ounces of a sports drinks every 15-20 minutes.
4) Don’t drink fruit juices, sodas, energy drinks, or beverages with carbohydrate levels higher than 8-10%. Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonation, which can lead to dehydration and increased risk of heart illness.
5) If you develop leg cramps, stop and stretch. Drink sports drinks only. Go to an aid tent on the course if your cramps don’t respond to this.

Signs you are dehydrated and at risk for serious heat illness
•Headache across the temples
•Decreased performance
Seek medical help if you develop these symptoms to avoid more serious problems.

The best sources for information about the status of the race are:
•Akron Marathon email updates
•Akron Marathon 2017 app (be sure to accept push notifications)
•Event website
•Facebook @AkronMarathon / Twitter @AkronMarathon


-- Paula Schleis