Honolulu Marathon Better Prepared For The Heat - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honolulu Marathon Better Prepared For The Heat

By Beth Hillyer

HONOLULU (KHNL)- A racer died, and hundreds collapsed on the course in the windy city. Not enough water, unbearable mid-day heat. These are just some factors on a steamy Sunday in Chicago.

Crossing the finish line at Kapiolani Park is the goal for tens of thousands of runners each December. And race officials make safety a priority of the Honolulu Marathon

This was the situation in Chicago Sunday.

A racer complained, "People said you need to walk, you need to walk for your safety. The race has been cancelled."

Hundreds of dehydrated runners collapsed along the side of the course.

There were allegations there was not enough water to go around.

Temperatures were in the high 80's. Unbearable heat was endured by those running in the mid-day sun. Hundreds were hospitalized and treated along the route. Unacceptable conditions according to

Honolulu Marathon President Dr. Jim Barahol, "Heat kills in a marathon. We in Honolulu know that better than anybody."

The Honolulu Marathon is one of the hottest around but Barahol says they work around it, "In 1995 we had an unbelievably hot week in Honolulu, the whole week was hot and race day was unbelievable. "

One big difference between the Honolulu and Chicago marathons: Ours starts at 5am to beat the heat. Sunday's Chicago marathon was called off 3 1/2 hours in to it. the 1995 Honolulu Marathon was nearly cancelled for the same reason, "We never had a day since then or before then that was our real test of extreme heat. We did about 171 IV's that day around 60 people admitted to the hospital but nobody died."

An autopsy revealed the runner who died in Chicago had a serious heart condition.

Runners at the Honolulu Marathon will never run out of water. They don't rely on bottled water. Organizers tap into the city water supply by opening fire hydrants along the route.

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