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Racine 70.3 Could Be A Scorcher

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Organizers stocking up on fluids for in preparation for heat at this weekends’s Racine Ironman 70.3.

Anticipating a sweltering day for the Racine Ironman 70.3, race director Ryan Richards ordered five tons of ice to help cool the 2,000 participants expected to exert themselves for up to eight hours.

That works out to five pounds per athlete, a worst-case scenario Richards uses in his calculations to prevent the types of medical emergencies that arose in the Madison Marathon in 2006, the Chicago Marathon in 2007 and the inaugural Rock ‘n Sole races on Sunday.

In all of those events, the demand for water and ice surpassed the supplies on hand, medical tents filled quickly with athletes suffering heat exhaustion and dozens required hospitalization.

The forecast for Sunday sets the stage for similar crises: temperatures pushing into the 90s, and high humidity bumping the heat index well beyond 100.

Like his fellow race director, Sean Ryan plans to be prepared.

The organizer of the Door County Triathlon doubled the amount of water on hand for the run portion of the 70.3-mile triathlon on Sunday, added an aid station in Egg Harbor, positioned sprinklers at several locations and ordered extra ice to be distributed. Additional fluids will be on hand for the sprint-distance event on Saturday.

According to Ryan, he typically figures on 1.5 cups of water per participant per station. Given the forecast, he doubled the amount to three per athlete.

“You’ll have someone grab one cup, then dump it over their head, then grab two cups and drink them,” said Ryan, who has overseen the Door County race since its founding in 2005. “Adequate fluids is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”

Read more: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel