The 10 Mile and Marathon That Wasn't To Be

>> Monday, October 02, 2023

The race didn't happen yesterday. I posted this before 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning:

Just me standing around in my race gear at 5:30 a.m. learning the TC 10 Mile and Marathon have been cancelled today because of the heat. Bummer. Not jealous of TC in Motion for the mess they’ll be dealing with. Hope everyone understands the hard call they had to make. 👎🏼☀️🤷🏼‍♂️

I'll have more on this over the next week, but here are some great words from my wife as she was about to race her 23rd TC Marathon:

My TCM streak now has another asterisk by it. I have trained for this race every year since 2000. In 2013, I finished my second 22 miler then found out I was pregnant with Charlie and subsequently had some complications that made even attempting a super easy marathon three weeks later out of the question. This morning, Twin Cities in Motion officials made the very difficult decision to cancel both the marathon and the 10 mile on account of the unseasonably hot weather.

I have run this race in snowflakes, rain, pregnant (Henry), sick with bronchitis, sick with a cough, a few months postpartum, breastfeeding, and heat. When I saw the forecast for this weekend, my heart sank. I ran this race in 2007, better known as “the hot year.” That was the same day that the Chicago marathon ran out of water and called the race with runners on the course. They treated hundreds of people for heat stress in and out of the hospitals. I’m normally a 4-5 hour marathoner, but in 2007, I was chilled and had goosebumps and recognized early that I had signs of heat stress. I ran/walked most of the race and finished in something like 5:30. (See pic 4 for finishing times that year). The miles on Summit felt like a death march in the heat of the day. I was a 26 year old who had just finished Ironman a few weeks earlier, had the experience of 7 previous marathons, and was in great shape. Today will likely top out at 5+ degrees hotter than that year with humidity and very little cloud cover. Twin Cities in Motion made the right call here.

Do I wish the had made the call earlier? Yes. I suspect they had to wait till this morning to see what the humidity would mean for the wet bulb temperature. Do I think the 10 milers would have been fine? I do. Am I disappointed? Of course. And while I fully recognize that there are ultras and Ironman races and even other marathons that can go on in these temps, those races don’t have fields of 20,000 participants. As one of our marathon medic volunteer friends pointed out, even increasing the incidence of medical attention needs from 3 per 1000 runners to 20 per 1000 runners would quickly overwhelm our volunteers and likely our hospitals. Yes you sign a waiver. Yes you take what the day gives you, but we cannot as a running community let our desire to have a race supersede the ability of the rest of the community to get emergency care.

I was fully prepared to give this race a go. I had plans for ice in my running vest, had packed a variety of food for the course (my stomach is quick to revolt in the heat), had enough electrolytes for me and everyone around me, and had already thrown my pace out the window. Instead, I went back to bed.

I recognize that for me, there will be a next year. This wasn’t my “one and done.” I didn’t pay for a flight or a hotel, and I understand people’s frustration and disappointment. I also recognize that TCIM has also been prepping for this weekend for months and am confident that they share in our sadness for the day that could have been. I hope to see you all on the course next year.

Back in bed around 6:00 a.m.

Back with more shortly...


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