Heat warn­ing for ath­letes at Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - GREEN LIVING -

Soar­ing tem­per­a­tures proved an added chal­lenge for ath­letes at the Pan Am Games on Satur­day, with at least two seek­ing treat­ment for heat-re­lated ill­ness and Games of­fi­cials warn­ing oth­ers to watch for symp­toms.

It's hard to know ex­actly how many ath­letes have been af­fected by the heat, since some may have been treated by their own team staff rather than the Games med­i­cal team, or­ga­niz­ers said.

But even those who didn't seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion said the swel­ter­ing con­di­tions made for a par­tic­u­larly gru­elling day of com­pe­ti­tion.

“I think the tough­est part was the hills and the heat, I think that was the big­gest fac­tor,” said Cana­dian run­ner Rachel Han­nah, who fin­ished fourth in the women's marathon.

“When I ran Ot­tawa, it was about 11 de­grees, flat course and it didn't even re­ally feel too chal­leng­ing, but this one def­i­nitely hit me at about 25 kilo­me­tres,” she said.

Her team­mate Cather­ine Watkins said the big­gest hur­dles were “hu­mid­ity, then the hills, then the heat.”

“I'm re­ally proud to gut it out and fin­ish, it's a re­ally tough course and it was tough con­di­tions - it was hot and hu­mid,” said Watkins, who fin­ished ninth.

Dr. Ju­lia Al­leyne, the Games' chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, said that while many ath­letes com­pet­ing at the Games are used to train­ing in the heat, they may not be used to the hu­mid­ity.

And she said the pres­sure of com­pet­ing could drive them to push harder than they nor­mally would in this weather.

“We ad­vise med­i­cal staff and ath­letes to be aware of early signs of heat-re­lated ill­ness such as fa­tigue and mus­cle cramp­ing,” she said.

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