Heat concerns based on forecasts that could put temperatures in the low 90s on Sunday have forced organizers of the Madison (WI) Marathon to cancel Sunday's race. The half-marathon will go on, and marathon registrants will be shifted to the 13.1. Here is a report from the Milwauke Journal Sentinel:
Because of concerns about hot weather, the Madison Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, was canceled, officials announced Friday.
The forecast predicts temperatures to increase dramatically to a danger zone level by 10 a.m. and extreme danger by noon. Temperatures are expected to reach 92.
Full marathon registrants will automatically be entered in the half marathon.
"This was an incredibly thought-out decision to make," said Madison Festivals Inc. President Rita Kelliher. "It's heart-breaking for all of us, and we understand the runners' investment of training, fees and travel expenses."
Race officials who made the decision included the race director, medical director, course director and the board of Madison Festivals. Madison Festivals is the nonprofit group that runs the Madison Marathon. The decision was made in accordance with American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.
"Based on race organizers' 2010 numbers, when high temperatures overwhelmed many runners and overtaxed the race's medical team and city emergency resources, only 1% would complete the marathon in Sunday's predicted heat," said race director Keith Peterson.
"Canceling the race before it starts has a safety advantage for the community because experience from mid-race cancellation shows many participants continue to run on the course after cancelltion. This makes it difficult to track and manage runners' specific medical problems, and it further taxes an already overloaded medical system."
Kelliher said full marathon registrants will automatically be entered into the half marathon. Full marathoners who choose to run the half will receive a full marathon medal at the finish line. Marathoners can get their marathon T-shirt at the Runners Expo at Monona Terrace (Friday, 4-7 p.m and Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.) or have it mailed to them at their request postage-free.
Each full marathon entrant, regardless if he or she chooses to run in the half, will receive a $20 credit for the 2013 Madison Marathon, despite the event's "no-refund" policy. Runners will be contacted in June with further details.
In the half marathon, race officials cautioned runners who still plan to run on Sunday to slow their pace and take breaks in the shade and drink plenty of fluids. Six medical stations and eight water stations will be located on the course, along with medically trained personnel on bikes between stations.
The course will be open until 11:30 a.m.