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Lessons from canceled marathons: sporting events, heat and the impact of climate change

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The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

THE CONVERSATION

This article was originally published in The Conversation, an independent, non-commercial source of news, analysis and commentary by academic experts. rice field. Disclosure information is available at the original site.

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Authors: Shaelyn Strachan, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba; Christine Van Winkle, Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba Manitoba26}

The cancellation of the Manitoba Marathon due to extreme heat may provide a case study of athletic event management in extreme weather.

As researchers in kinesiology and recreational management, we were interested in how disruption was handled not only professionally but also from a personal perspective. . One of us (Sherin) is a half marathoner.

The race was canceled after it started and the runners were already one hour into the race. The result was ambiguity and confusion. Runners were scratching their heads during and after the race. I was wondering what should have been done during the chaos and how the course closure after the event was handled.

Racing in the heat

Hot road racing may become more common. The climate crisis is expected to increase severe weather, which can have devastating consequences including loss of life, injury and illness if people are not prepared. Negative experiences of emergencies can have psychological effects, even when no lives are lost.

Runners can take precautions against the heat, wear appropriate clothing, and stay hydrated, but even these steps are inadequate to overcome the effects of heat. Often enough is enough. Exercising in hot and humid conditions poses serious challenges to the body's ability to regulate body temperature, and running in such conditions significantly reduces performance and leads to health problems such as fatigue and heat stroke.

Managing the hazards posed by a changing climate will be a requirement for all regional event organizers going forward.

Runner's Perspective

Sherin's first-person account helps you understand what happened on the course during his canceled Manitoba marathon increase. Here's her experience:

Like other runners, I've been training in very cold winters and springs, and I've been forecasted for this her late June race. I was unprepared for a ferocious ride in record-breaking temperatures.

Event representatives urged runners to stay hydrated and adjust their goals in light of the expected heat. I was on the lookout for emails for an adjusted start time or cancellation. Without any notice, I headed to the starting line. Once we started, it didn't take long for us to feel the heat of the day, but the volunteers kept us hydrated.

did. A few miles in, my heart rate was out of the ideal range.With 8 km to go, I was confused when a volunteer told me the course was closed and I could continue running if I wanted to. Was the course really closed? Should I trust one volunteer? What were my options if the course was closed?

The course was not physically closed and the runners around me were still running. Realizing that there was no way to get back except on my own two feet, I kept running.

This reaction is not surprising. When faced with a crisis, the Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Manual from the US Centers for Disease Control offers four ways people process information. Current beliefs,

– Seek additional information and opinions,

– Believe the first message. There was no It wasn't until I heard the news that I was able to confirm the closure. After recovery, I read the participant's Twitter thread. My confusion and anxiety were nothing special. Conflicting information has circulated about the closure of water stations and the lack of traffic restrictions.

Closing the course was understandable for the safety of the runners. However, given that the participants had probably been training for months, it is possible that they were hesitant to quit the race, and that they would not be able to achieve their goals or compete in another race.

Lessons for future races

Effective communication is a good choice for the public. reduce injuries and deaths in emergencies by providing information to A crisis can be a catalyst for an organization to build trust with its communities, or it can undermine relationships, depending on the strategies used.

Race organizers are required to provide runners with important information regardless of the specific hazards. Runners should know in advance what to expect in the event of a race interruption or route change before setting off on the course. In this way, even in the event of weather disturbances, acts of violence, or other potentially catastrophic events, racers are ready to respond.

Complicating the situation is the organizational structure of many events. Volunteers are essential to delivering many community events. They bring skills and knowledge, but may not have specific training in emergency management or be sufficiently prepared for event attendees to navigate the challenges posed during major disruptions. There is a nature. Organizational preparedness should include ensuring the readiness of volunteers to respond to emergencies.

Events like the Manitoba Marathon offer runners the opportunity to reach goals that took months of training. But this year, many runners limped out of the event with mixed feelings about whether the event should have gone ahead and, if so, how the situation should have been managed.

With record high temperatures continuing around the world this summer, there are emergency measures to ensure communities can share meaningful experiences while staying safe. We need to invest in our preparedness.

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Shaelyn Strachan is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health

Christine Van Winkle is Canadian Council for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Funded by

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This article is reprinted from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Disclosure information is available at the original site. Read Original Article: https://theconversation.com/lessons-from-a-cancelled-marathon-athlet https://theconversation.com/lessons-from-a-cancelled-ma