LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Runners are keeping a close watch on the weather reports ahead of the 44th annual Kentucky Derby Festival marathon and half-marathon this weekend. More than 12,000 runners are signed up to participate.
Organizers expect there will be rain Saturday morning for the start of the race.
"Enjoy the rain! It'll be a little warm, so the rain might have a cooling effect on runners," said Daniel Delph, the Norton Sports Health Coordinator.
Delph says runners should prepare for the heat, too.
"Make sure when you pass every water station," Delph said, "that you take in some kind of fluids every single time. Don't skip a water station, make sure you're doing that and stay on top of it."
Delph also said runners might need to take it a little slower than normal, because of the heat, so Saturday might not be the best day to try and beat a personal record.
"Don't push yourself too hard," warned Aimee Boyd, a spokesperson with the Kentucky Derby Festival. "Know your limits. And if you're on that marathon course and you can't finish it, you can switch to the mini marathon course the same day."
Boyd said if there is severe weather, they will push the start time back by 30 minutes until it's safe to run. And if severe weather kicks in while runners are out on the course, crews will update signs along the route to warn runners to stop, seek shelter, or keep going.
Runners follow a loop course, which starts and finishes downtown. The route also includes a lap inside the infield at Churchill Downs racetrack.
The official race medical provider is Norton Sports Health. There will be a medical tent along the route to care for any injuries and provide medical attention.
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