Tely 10 organizers considering changes for 2015
Organizers of the Tely 10 say changes could be coming to the annual 10-mile road race next year, including an earlier start time and more water stations.
Sunday's forecast had temperatures in the mid-20s, along with a high humidex. Several runners suffered heat stroke and heat exhaustion during the event.
Randy Ball, a race director with the Tely 10, said the event has always been based upon its 8 a.m. start time — though changes are being considered.
"There've been a lot of comments coming from runners, and I've heard people saying that, 'You know, if we only had to start half an hour earlier,'" he said.
"It's certainly a possibility, but we'll have to sit down and talk over the winter. I'm not going to promise [anything], but we will look at probably an earlier starting date. But this year has been unique. In my experience with the Tely 10, we've never had a Sunday like this before."
Ball said organizers will definitely add another water station — and maybe even two — to the route next year.
Ball said Tely 10 organizers took extra precautions this year to deal with the heat.
"We knew that, with the weather the way it's been the whole month of July, the heat and humidity were certainly going to be an issue," he said.
"I was trying to get the message out there, to tell the runners to make sure to hydrate before they run, and make sure that they train in this heat — that's very, very important."
Ball said runners were also encouraged to take advantage of the water stations that were sent up along the race route.
"This year, we increased the amount of water at all of our water stations, including the water tent at the finish line," he said.
"Every single one of our water stations had water left over, which made us feel happy. We had plenty of water on the route."
For the first time this year, race organizers had an emergency medical tent set up on LeMarchant Road, near the St. Clare's Mercy Hospital.
Ball said he also tried to get the message out to race participants about how to handle the course.
"They need to train for this event. Ten miles is a very difficult course, and you know, even if you are walking, you have to train for it and you have to train in the same conditions that you're going to be participating in on Sunday," he said.
"People who are going to take this event on, they can't train too soon. And they need to know their limitations ... and you have to listen to your body when you're on the route."
St. John Ambulance said about 30 runners were injured during the race, which were mainly heat-related.
While that number is on par with injuries and illness that occurred in the 2013 race, it was noted that the sicknesses that were suffered by runners this year were much more severe — including heat stroke.
One runner, Mark Didham, 30, remains in a medically induced coma, after collapsing in the heat at Sunday's race. His family is urging for an earlier start time for the event, when conditions are cooler.