SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - With temperatures Saturday expected in the mid-80s, officials with the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon & ½ Marathon are preparing for a warmer-than-normal race day. More than 21,000 runners from all 50 states and 24 countries will descend upon Georgia's charming coastal city to partake in two-days of running this weekend.
A comprehensive heat plan will be instituted that includes misters at all water stations, sponge stations, ice towels at the finish and air-conditioned cooling buses positioned along the marathon course.
"Our operations team is in daily conversations with our local partners including the City of Savannah Police Department, Southside Fire Department, St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital and the Office of Emergency Management. While we want to provide a fun and memorable experience for runners, our number one priority is to maintain their safety at the event," said Dr. P.Z. Pearce, Medical Director for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. "More ice, more spray stations, cold towels at the finish line, additional water and Gatorade has been ordered along with cooling buses that will be visible on course. All of these items are above and beyond the extensive medical support we are already providing on course and at the finish line."
Dr. Pearce is also offering these tips for runners to have a great experience on race day, which have been emailed to each registered participant:
- Runners should listen to their body and slow down if they are feeling warm. Do not worry about running a PR, just have fun.
- Hydrate with Gatorade or other electrolyte beverage, but only drink when thirsty and do not over hydrate
- Runners are advised to add a packet of salt to fluid before the race and salt will be available at start line corrals as well as medical stations on course.
- Marathon runners can drop down to half marathon ahead of the race and on course. The half marathon split is at mile 11.5 and there will be signage directing runners on the split.