Thursday, April 11, 2013

Runners sure to sweat new Scottsdale race

"Runners sure to sweat new Scottsdale race"
(Highlighted: Perry Edinger, PA-C for Dr. Bailie)

"By Peter Corbett
The Republic |
Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:45 AM
It could be 40 minutes of hell for runners.

An inaugural Scottsdale Beat the Heat race of 11.22 kilometers is planned for a 2:47 p.m. start on June 22, the day after the summer solstice.

The peculiar race distance, starting time and other race details commemorate Phoenix’s hottest day on record of 122 degrees on June 26, 1990, set at 2:47 p.m. The record high temperature for June 22 is 116 degrees, set in 1988.

“This gives people a chance to show they can handle adversity,” said Perry Edinger, a race organizer and ultramarathon runner. “I think it’s a great idea.”

Sponsored by Professional Medical Transport, an ambulance company, the nearly 7-mile race is intended to create a big summer event that will celebrate the heat and dispel the notion that the Valley is too hot for summer vacations, said Scottsdale public-relations executive Jason Rose, who dreamed up the race.

“We believe it’s going to be the hottest race on the planet,” Rose said.

The Badwater Ultramarathon race in the Mojave Desert, at 135 miles, is far more grueling, but it starts in shifts at 6 a.m., 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., when the weather is not as hot, he said.

Edinger, who completed the Badwater race in 29 hours in 2009, said the Beat the Heat run will give more runners a chance to test themselves in the heat. About 1,400 apply to run Badwater and only 80 are selected, he said.

Safety is paramount at Beat the Heat, with shaded water stations every half-mile, said Chris Giles, president of Raceplace Events, which is staging the run.

Dr. Denise Millstine of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale said runners could put themselves at risk of heatstroke, a life-threatening emergency, if they are not accustomed to running in extreme temperatures.

“I think it’s, obviously, not for the average athlete,” she said, adding that runners should check with their doctor or trainer before signing up to participate.

“If a patient of mine came to me, I would probably dissuade them from” running in the race, Millstine said. “I look at it in terms of risk to benefit.”

The 11.22-kilometer race and a 5K will start in the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at WestWorld in Scottsdale. Runners will go through the city’s massive multipurpose tent and horse corrals before heading southeast along the Central Arizona Project Canal. They will loop through the McDowell Mountain Golf Club before heading back to WestWorld.

Runners will finish the race on the polo field, with sprinklers cooling them off. A four-story inflatable waterslide will be in place for chilling after the race.

Giles said the Beat the Heat race will give the running community the new challenge it seeks. It also will give runners something to do in the summer when 5K races become rare.

Prize money will go to the top 10 finishers, with $1,990 to the winner."

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