Madison Marathon officials call off race because of heat
Marathon was set for Sunday
Organizers of the Madison Marathon said on Friday that they have called off this weekend's full race because of concern about the heat. A half-marathon will still be held.
Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees, WISC-TV reported.
According to a news release, race officials said that forecasts for Sunday, May 27, projected temperatures to "increase dramatically to the danger zone by 10 a.m. and to extreme danger by noon." Officials said that they made the decision "in accordance with American College of Sports Medicine guidelines."
Officials said that with a high of 92 degrees forecast for Sunday, runners' body temperatures might have reached deadly levels as they competed in the 26.2 mile race.
Runners were still checking in at Monona Terrace Friday because the half-marathon and 10-kilometer race are still taking place.
Organizers said that could change on race day.
Race director Keith Peterson said that holding the marathon despite the temperatures could've been a dangerous decision and that organizers said that they know many runners might be disappointed about the decision.
"I want them to know we're as disappointed as they are. They've been out there training for six months, nine months of the year. Our staff has been working on this event for over a year," he said.While the full marathon has been called, organizers said that the half marathon will still be held. They said that full marathon registrants will automatically be entered into the shorter race.
Many runners at Monona Terrace were disappointed.
"You build and build and build up to this moment, and then it doesn't happen," said Aaron Levine, who traveled from Dallas, Texas to run his first marathon. "But it'll be fun and I got to come visit Madison and spend some time up here. So at least I got that out of it."
It's the second time in three years that the full marathoners won't reach the finish line, WISC-TV reported.
Peterson said in the news release that based on numbers from the 2010 race, in which runners were affected by high summer temperatures, they believe only 1 percent of race participants would be able to complete Sunday's race if it was held.
Officials said that all race entrants will receive a $20 credit for next year's event. The half marathon is slated to be completed by 11:30 a.m.
Organizers said that they wanted to caution half-marathon runners that should consider slowing their pace and take breaks in the shade and drink plenty of fluids.
They said that six medical and eight water stations will be located along the course. They said the course will be open until 11:30 a.m.
Peterson said they're looking at starting earlier or moving the race to the fall next year, but no decisions are final.
Last Sunday, the Cellcom marathon in Green Bay was halted because of heat and humidity. About 20 runners were taken to the hospital.
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