Marathon weather looks great, but stay hydrated

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This weekend's forecast is a good one for The SunTrust Richmond Marathon, but it doesn't mean that runners don't have to be careful.

The NBC12 First Warning Weather team has been paying close attention to the forecast.  It looks like it's going to be a sunny day that will start in the low to mid 40s and wind up in the mid-60s.  Runners love that chilly weather, but the marathon's medical director is worried it might lead some to neglect hydration.

Dr. Douglas Cutter says, "I always get concerned over their perception of the fact that it's nice and cool, I don't have to worry about my state of hydration, maybe I will skip this water stop, don't do that, don't do that."

Dr. Cutter says marathon runners have to be careful and plan ahead, especially the rest of this week.

Cutter says, "you have to first of all make sure that your hydration status is excellent, now I tell people the week before the marathon to add a little extra salt to your diet, not a lot, just a little extra salt, that extra salt helps you retain the fluid that your taking in."

And increase that fluid with non-alcoholic and caffeine free options.

Also, take it easy this week. Now is not the time to over-train.

Cutter says, "the last week is the time to step back and let your body heal and prepare for those 26.2 miles."

These medical tips are serious -- runners can die.  We saw that in September when a Henrico man got sick and died at a half marathon in Virginia Beach.

Cutter says, "we try to monitor any of those situations that happen across the country, of course the situation with our local runner in Virginia Beach with that half marathon, and try to figure out maybe what could be prevented."

If you are interested in participating in the marathon, it is not too late. Online registration for all three races closes Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. Walk-up registration will be available at the Race Expo Thursday and Friday. See the SunTrust Richmond Marathon website for details.

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