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Dreary, Overcast skies, delighting Chicago Marathon officials

Posted Oct 07 2008 6:13pm

Chicago marathon The weather forecast for this Sunday in Chicago looks a bit bleak...to the great delight of tens of thousands of runners and marathon officials.

Last year the Chicago Marathon had to be cut short because of the hot weather. Runners from around the world hope that last year's heat-related problems will not be repeated this Sunday.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

"Last Oct. 7, the high temperature and humidity cut short the 26.2-mile race for the first time in its history. With Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympics looming large in the background, city officials had to defend themselves after runners reported insufficient water. To add to the problems, an ambulance crew got lost on the way to the hospital while transporting a runner who later died of a heart condition.

This year, organizers of the 31st Chicago Marathon are promising more water, more Gatorade and a new color-coded communication system designed to alert runners. Race officials will stand ready to post green, yellow, red or black signs. Green means conditions are good, yellow means they are not ideal, red means potentially dangerous, and black means the race will be diverted or canceled. There will be 20 aid stations, five more than last year, said race spokesman Marianne Caponi.

The situation last year will not soon be forgotten.

"It was pretty shocking," said Sharon Pines, a volunteer stationed last year at the 10-mile aid station. She said their station "ran out of everything," forcing volunteers to reuse cups from the ground. They took a cooler to a nearby restaurant three times to replenish water needed to make Gatorade from powder."

You can read the rest of the story HERE.

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