- The organizers of the Manitoba Marathon explain why the marathon was held despite heat warnings on Sunday, only to be canceled in the middle of the race, generating uncertainty among runners.
- “That was our message,” Rachel Munday, executive director of the Manitoba Marathon, said. “You have to stop because it’s too dangerous to run.”
- According to marathon organizers, there was not enough time to transfer gears due to the vast number of volunteers and city departments involved.
The Manitoba Marathon organizers explain why the race was initially held despite heat warnings on Sunday, only to be canceled mid-race, causing confusion among runners.
The heat in Winnipeg for Sunday’s Manitoba Marathon can only be described as terrible.
Emile Morrissette competed in the half-marathon and stated, “It was simply so hot to start; it was quite tough.”
Two runners were taken to the hospital on Sunday, one in a critical condition and the other in a stable one.
Morrissette claimed that about halfway through the marathon, volunteers informed him and others that the race had been canceled, causing considerable confusion.
“They said again, ‘The race is stopped, the race is canceled,'” says the narrator. So a couple of us looked over and said, ‘Well, you can finish if you want,’ and they kind of went, ‘Well, you can finish if you want.'”
The event was canceled after it began, according to organizers, due to the extreme heat. Emergency personnel and volunteers were immediately notified, and runners were warned that continuing would be at their own risk.
The Manitoba Marathon’s executive director, Rachel Munday, stated, “That was our message that you have to stop because it’s too unsafe to run.”
Despite knowing it would be hot on Sunday, organizers pushed forward with their plans based on the prediction but were surprised by how quickly the temperature increased.
“When the temperatures began to rise at an accelerated rate, we realized we needed to act sooner rather than later to ensure everyone’s safety,” Munday told CTV News.
Brian Mayes, a member of the City Council, ran the entire marathon. When the race was canceled, he argued it should have been trimmed down to a half marathon, or runners must have been directed off the course.
“If there had been a massive blockade at mile-13 and everyone was ushered into a bus, then we’d all be treated the same,” Mayes explained.
On the other hand, organizers acknowledged they couldn’t make people stop running.
“You know nobody’s going to put their hands on someone and make them get off the road when runners choose to continue,” Munday added.
As a result, water was left at aid stations for those who wanted to keep going.
There was not enough time to switch gears, according to marathon organizers, because of a large number of volunteers and city departments engaged. According to CTV News, officers from the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) arrived around 5 a.m., two hours earlier than usual. They said that a request to arrive at 3 a.m. was not feasible.
“Our police stayed put and assisted ensure that individuals who decided to continue running or who weren’t able to leave the course yet remained safe,” said WPS public relations officer Const. Jay Murray.
According to Murray, officers and cadets remained on-site, including returning to undertake traffic duty at intersections where some runners were running red lights.
Source: CTV News
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