Sometimes people make fun of wacky warning labels that they see, like the warning on a Batman costume that said “Cape does not enable user to fly,”
But sometimes, they are well-written and real, and need to be appreciated. They aren’t written for the benefit of lawyers and courts and fear of an obscure suit, but for the benefits of participants in an event. Like this for this Monday’s Boston Marathon, where temperatures are expected to soar into the 80s, about 30 degrees too warm:
Advisory From Boston Marathon Medical Directors to Entrants in the 2012 Boston Marathon
Saturday, April 14, 2012 as of 11:30 a.m.
We are looking closely at the current weather situation which is projected to be quite warm. The B.A.A. is closely monitoring this situation for for race day decisions. If the temperatures reach certain levels, running will put even the most fit athletes at risk for heat injury.
We are now making the recommendation that if you are not highly fit or if you have any underlying medical conditions (for example-cardiac disease, pulmonary disease or any of a number of medical problems), you should NOT run this race.
Inexperienced marathoners should not run.
Those who have only trained in a cooler climate and who may not be acclimated (for at least the last 10 days) to warm weather running conditions should also consider not running.
For those very fit athletes who decide to run, you should take significant precautions:
Run at a slower pace and maintain hydration.
You should frequently take breaks by walking instead of running.
This will not be a day to run a personal best. If you choose to run, run safely above all else. Speed can kill.
Heat stroke is a serious issue and is related to intensity of running as well as the heat and humidity.
Good hydration is important but over hydration can also be a problem. Thirst is an indication that you are under-hydrated. You should maintain hydration levels slightly greater than your hydration program in your training, but not excessively so.
Even the fittest athletes, that take precautions can still suffer serious heat illness. Recognizing symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others is critical , this may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these, stop running immediately and if symptoms persist seek medical attention.
Boston Marathon Co-Medical Directors,
Dr. Pierre d’Hemecourt and Dr. Sophia Dyer