Call it what you will, but while the Boston Athletic Association is dealing with the effects of too much snow on the starting grounds of the Boston Marathon as it counts down to Patriot’s Day April 20th, right now in Los Angeles the high heat warnings for this weekend have activated operational changes for Sunday’s 30th Asics Los Angeles Marathon. The following statement was released tonight by the L.A. Marathon office.
The current weather forecast for Sunday, March 15th calls for record high heat. The weather conditions pose a high level of risk for marathoners and all participants should be advised to take precaution. Everyone who participates should strongly consider running at a slower pace than they would normally plan to run a marathon.
The ASICS LA Marathon is taking the following measures to reduce the risks:
o Moving the ‘full field’ start time 30 minutes earlier – from 7:25 am to 6:55 am.
o Initiating wave starts to ensure proper runner spacing and enabling more efficient replenishment of supplies at early aid stations
o Increasing the overall supply of aid, including additional water and Gatorade Endurance Formula at all 24 aid stations
o Providing ‘cooling buses’ along the course and at the finish line
o Providing misting stations, cold towels and ice
o Extending the length of time finish line services will be available
o Providing regular updates as to additional resources added for the event
The ASICS LA Marathon has set up 24 fully-staffed aid stations along the course that feature both water and Gatorade Endurance Formula (Lemon-Lime). Aid stations will be featured at every mile beginning at Mile 2 until Mile 25. At each aid station, electrolyte tables will be first, followed by water. If the first aid tables at any aid station are crowded, participants should continue moving through the aid station to the next set of tables in order to minimize congestion and provide all runners with convenient access to obtaining fluids.
There is medical support at the start and finish lines as well as along the course. Beginning at mile 6, medical tents are staged every two miles along the course – miles 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24. Medical tents are located at the finish line and in the post food & fluid area on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Medical stations are staffed with volunteer physicians, nurses and assistants, and are coordinated by Keck Medicine of USC
Marathon Medical Director Glenn Ault, M.D. of Keck Medicine of USC suggests that runners take the proper precautions for race day, including:
o Hydrate. Drink the proper amount of fluids, including water and electrolytes.
o Study the race course. Be aware of water and aid station locations.
o Listen to your body. If you’re dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, vomiting or in a lot of pain, find a course marshal or medical personnel and get help immediately.
o Dress appropriately—avoid cotton fabrics, long sleeves and long pants. Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics (“technical” running gear) that will help to keep you cool.
o At the finish line, keep moving to acclimate your body to a more sedentary state. Watch for hotwalkers assigned to help runners keep moving if you need assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How long will the finish line be open?
A: We will make every effort to keep finish line services available to participants, while following our course re-open schedule of 6 hours and 30 minutes from the time the last runner crosses the start line. Runners falling behind a 6 hour, 30 minute pace will be allowed to complete the race, but must move to the sidewalk and adhere to all traffic safety rules.
Q: How will the earlier start times affect my transportation?
A: The shuttle schedule remains the same. Those that are being dropped off by loved ones at Dodger Stadium should plan to arrive at least 90 minutes before the start (5:25 a.m.) and plan for delays. Dodger Stadium gates will open at 3 a.m.
Q: Why couldn’t you start the race even earlier?
A: There are several complexities involved in organizing an event of this magnitude, including multiple city agencies, first responders, thousands of volunteers and a multifaceted system of street closures.
Q: How can I stay updated on the latest news regarding this situation?
A: Please visit our site and follow our social media profiles for regular updates, tips and alerts. We will do our best to communicate directly with runners via email and SMS messaging, but advise both runners and spectators to frequently visit our communications channels. We urge all smartphone app users to allow push notifications from the ASICS LA Marathon app (can be changed in your phone settings).
Q: What if I feel like I am unable to complete the race?
A: ‘Down Drop Runner’ vans will be available at various Aid Stations from miles 7-23. If you would like to drop out of the ASICS LA Marathon, make your way to an Aid Station. These vans will provide runners adequate transportation back to the Central Drop Area at the intersection of Main St and Olympic Drive in Santa Monica, which is approximately five blocks from the Finish Area. Runners who have dropped out of the race may not cross the Finish Line. Runners that cross the Finish Line despite having been transported to the Finish via van will be disqualified and barred from future events.
Q: Can I transfer my race registration to next year?
A: Per our official rules and regulations, registration is non-refundable and non-transferable.
Marathon preview will be forthcoming.