MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time since the Twin Cities Marathon saw an event record of 82 degrees in 2007, the race is expected run under red flag conditions on Sunday.
The color comes with a warning for those with heat stress problems and heart disease not to start, and for others, to drink extra fluids.
An expected 85-degree high Sunday would be 20 degrees above average.
"It's about finishing strong," said Twin Cities in Motion President Dean Orton. "Adjust your running schedule, adjust your plan so you can stay safe, and that's difficult, because people always want to push for their best record."
The event, which hosts 300,000 guests and over 20,000 runners annually, will feature extra water stations, ice, cooling areas and misters. It will also be patrolled by 300 volunteer medics.
"Wherever someone is on the course, they're within line of sight of some volunteer or race official for the entire 26 miles," said Twin Cities in Motion Communication Manager Charlie Mahler. "We've been asking participants to do their part – to hydrate, to slow down, to wear light clothes, to monitor their body, so together, we can put on a great, safe Twin Cities marathon."
As athletes got their race materials Saturday, much of the focus was on competing with the heat.
"I think I'm prepared, because I run in the heat," said Pat St. Dennis of St. Paul. "I did a 20-mile training run four weeks ago, and it was 80 degrees that day. I think I'll be alright."
"You just hydrate a lot more, drink a lot of electrolytes, make sure you're keeping in tune with your body and how you're feeling throughout the race," said Kelli Little of Lino Lakes. "And you just pray the rest of the way."
The Twin Cities 10 Mile race starts 7 a.m. Sunday, with the Marathon race starting at 8 a.m. Both races start in downtown Minneapolis, with a finish line adjacent to the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.
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