Weekend outdoor events make plans to deal with record heat

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s a big weekend for LeMoyne Owen College, and the stage is being set for the Celebrity Sunset 5K.

When hundreds of people gather Friday evening at 7, it may be one of the hottest days of the year so far, with heat indexes in the 100s.

“We have added a misting tent this year. We are gonna have a pooped-out bus that patrols the race route and picks up anyone who is unable to finish. We even have some of our local residents who are gonna turn on their water sprinklers so races can run through that,” says Daphne Thomas, Public Relations and Marketing Director for LeMoyne Owen College.

With a race that draws seasoned runners as well as amateurs,  there are precautions to heed:

- Hydrate even before the race.
– Wear light, loose-fitting running gear.
– Use sunscreen and wear a hat or visor to block the sun.

We caught Wanda Rivera running in Tom Lee Park at high noon Thursday. She’s preparing for a marathon in December and doesn’t want to miss any training.

“I try to wear cool clothing and to hydrate myself, drinking lots of water and take some rest and eat good meals,” Rivera said.

Runners with the Memphis Runner’s Track Club will have it a bit cooler Sunday morning when they gather for their 5K at Bartlett’s Freeman Park, but they’re still putting out safety tips for their 1,200 participants.

“The biggest key is making sure you hydrate and the hydration involves getting hydrated early and not the night before the race or the morning of the race. You need to be hydrating a couple of days before,” Club President John Payne said.

Payne says to get hydrated, you will need to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water.  If you weigh 100 pounds, that would be 50 ounces of water.

You can also pull your pace back a bit, so you don’t over exert your self.

These weekend races will go on with emergency workers on stand-by, but hopefully you won’t need them.

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