With a large storm system forecast for the weekend, Los Angeles Marathon organizers Thursday cautioned runners to prepare for cold, wet conditions that can cause hypothermia.
Race officials also announced contingency plans to keep runners, volunteers and medical staff as dry as possible at key race areas along the route.
The National Weather Service predicts a 60 percent chance of showers and a high of 57 degrees on Sunday—the second year in a row that race officials have had to prepare for cold, wet weather.
"While we can't control nature, there's a lot runners can do to minimize problems caused by wet weather,'' said Gene Ault, race medical director and associate dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine.
Ault advised runners to:
- Avoid wearing cotton clothing that absorbs moisture;
- Arrange for a spectator to bring dry clothes and socks part-way through the race;
- Wear a body lubricant to prevent chafing and blistering;
- Avoid slippery surfaces like manhole covers and painted lane markings while running.
Race officials announced plans to have 5,000 plastic trash bags on hand at Dodger Stadium for runners to stay dry before the race gets under way and 200 will go to each of the 25 water stations.
About 23,000 Mylar heating blankets will be divided up among 10 medical stations along the course and the finish line.
The course will also have heating buses at the medical stations and finish line to help runners who need medical attention.
"We're confident that by coordinating our efforts with the fire departments in all four jurisdictions [along the course] and Keck Medical Center of USC, we'll have enough equipment and support to keep our runners, volunteers and medical personnel as dry, warm and comfortable as possible on race day,'' L.A. Marathon Chief Operating Officer Nick Curl said.
More than 300 runners were evaluated for hypothermia and 20 were hospitalized during last year's race, which saw about three-quarters of an inch of rain fall on the course during the first six hours of the marathon.
The race is scheduled to follow much the same route as last year. Runners will begin at Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park, then head east through Chinatown and downtown, west along Sunset Boulevard through Silverlake, then past Hollywood landmarks like Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Sunset Strip.
The course will meander through a Beverly Hills shopping district before finishing on Ocean Avenue near the Santa Monica Pier.
— City News Service