Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
With temperatures forecast in the high 80s, the organizers of the Madison Marathon are contemplating canceling the 26.2-mile race this Sunday, May 27.
If they do -- the final decision will be made Friday at 4 p.m., according to the Madison Marathon website -- then "all full marathon runners will have the option to run the half marathon" which will start at 7:12 a.m. Keeping the course open until 11:30 a.m. would give the runners "an extra hour to slow their pace" and adjust their efforts to the conditions.
“It’s not an easy decision, and we have to make a decision in the best-interest of everyone involved, the runners, the thousand-plus volunteers, the emergency personnel working the event, and the general population,” Madison Marathon Director Keith Peterson told Tom Held at The Active Pursuit blog on Tuesday.
Peterson made the call to shut down the marathon in 2006 and 2010 when medical staff were overwhelmed by runners suffering from the heat.
Other aspects of the event will go on as planned. The Madison Marathon Expo at the Monona Terrace Convention Center, for instance, will be open for packet pickup 4-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Look for the Silent Sports booth there. If the heat does force cancelation of the marathon, I'll look forward to chatting with runners who may be disappointed but less stressed out.
If the event goes ahead as planned, there are precautions runners should take listed in a sidebar to this story in today's Wisconsin State Journal.
Regardless of what happens, run smart and safe out there.