Twin Cities Marathon events this weekend will take place amid heightened concerns about safety because of the unseasonably warm weather in the forecast.
Organizers are encouraging runners to use caution, and they’re taking steps to try to prevent heat-related illness.
Thousands of people are signed up to run in the various marathon weekend events — starting with 5K and 10K races on Saturday.
The main attractions are on Sunday, when 20,000 people are expected to run either the TC 10 Mile race or the full 26.2-mile marathon course from downtown Minneapolis to the finish line at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
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The Twin Cities Marathon often is held in brisk fall morning weather. But this weekend’s forecast is calling for temperatures around 70 to start, climbing into the 80s — with humid conditions.
Race Director Eli Asch said this weekend’s events will operate under what organizers are calling “red flag” conditions, expanding on the medical and hydration stations that are always part of the marathon.
“This year we have additional dedicated ambulance staffing. We also have cooling misters in the finish line, additional cooling capabilities at those medical stations on-course and ultimately are doing everything we can to assure folks safety, including having a larger-scale medical tent after the finish line,” Asch said.
Asch said he and other marathon organizers are also making an appeal to runners: Don’t take part if you think it will be too warm for you. And if you do run, this is a good year to just take it easy and enjoy the event.
“Runners, if they want to start the race, need to treat the race not as a day to try and set a personal record — a PR, as runners call it — but rather as a day to celebrate their training and accomplishment (and) get to the finish line safely,” Asch said. “We have 300,000 cheering spectators along the course. It’s a great day to high-five one of them, smile at a kid, enjoy those signs, take it in.”
The TC 10 Mile starts at 7 a.m. Sunday, the full marathon at 8 a.m. Even if you’re not running or watching the races — if you’re in the Twin Cities this weekend, watch out for extra traffic and street closures related to the events.