The Medical Director of Grandma's Marathon, Ben Nelson, sent an email to participants yesterday warning them about potential red flag conditions during the race, if forecasted conditions hold true.
Red flag conditions are issued when high temperature or high humidity levels may present a health risk to runners. Nelson stated, "Proper hydration before and during the race is critical to the completion of a safe race."
He provided the following recommendations:
- Slow your pace
- Do not have any expectations of this being a personal record day – there will be other races!
- Rest periodically if needed
- Do not over extend yourself
- Listen to your body
- Make sure you take in adequate fluids on the course
Last year there was a warning of potential "white flag" warning for risk of hypothermia. The flag system used by Grandma's Marathon is described below:
BLACK FLAG (Extremely High Risk): All runners should slow their pace, drink extra fluids and those with previous heat-stress problems or heart disease should consider not running.
RED FLAG (High Risk): All runners should slow their pace and those with previous heat stress problems or heart disease should consider not running.
YELLOW FLAG (Moderate Risk): Heat stress is less, but one must be cautious as the level of stress will most likely increase during a morning race.
GREEN FLAG (Low Risk): Risk is low, but once again runners should be careful of symptoms of heat stress. Runners also need to be cautious of changing weather conditions.
WHITE FLAG (Risk of Hypothermia): The risk of hypothermia exists, especially in slow runners or in wet and windy conditions.