Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heat Shortened Races: Will there be a long term impact on road racing?

Road running races continue to shortened and cancelled due to heat. In May heat and humidity forced the closure of the marathon course at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. Two weeks later, based on a hot and humid forecast, the Madison Marathon was cancelled and runners were allowed to switch to the half marathon. Tomorrow's TC Half Marathon in Minnesota has been shortened to a 5 mile course.

I am wondering what the long term impact will be on road racing of heat forced course closures and length reductions.

1. Will runners learn more about heat emergencies and get better at in-race prevention?

2. Will races move from their traditional dates to dates less likely to be impacted by high heat? Which could mean races being impacted by cold, snow, and ice.

3. Will participation decline in late Spring, Summer, and early Fall road running races?

4. Will race organizations increase water stations, use of misting fans, etc. to every mile or half mile?

5. Will runners be encouraged to be more self-supported with fluids, ice, and other cooling mechanisms?

6. Will races direct more resources to medical planning?

7. Will race day medical personnel increasingly be paid professionals with specialized experience rather than volunteers from a mish mash of medical backgrounds?

What do you think the impact of heat forced race cancellations and course reductions be on the sport of road racing? 

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