Wet, cold, hot, dry: Weather Matters

Wed, 21 Oct. 2009 - 1:27 p.m. MT
Credit: Dave Watt - American Running Association

In fact, that life-changing event in Buffalo as a teen has inspired Doug every day since that trauma.   I am drawn to Doug’s story because history always seems to repeat itself no matter what lessons all of us try to impart on others from our own life experiences.

Weather affects all outdoor sports.  Some sports escape weather’s impact by playing under a roof.  Others don’t play if it’s raining or snowing.   Most endurance sports and any activity that is Running-focused is almost never postponed or cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.   Running is like the Postal Service or Mailman’s creed:  Neither Snow, nor rain nor ice….   Runners pride themselves on dressing up or dressing down depending on the temperature or if it’s raining or snowing.   The only major professional sport that follows the runners’ creed is football.    Even Football is starting realize that adverse weather can injure or kill.   Summer two-a-day workouts in heat are now curtailed and games are moved to evenings.  More attention was focused on coaches who oversee athletes in adverse weather conditions, especially heat.  The recently concluded “Stinson” trial and subsequent acquittal was about a high school football coach who was charged with manslaughter after a football player collapsed and died after doing wind sprints in high heat.   Doug Casa testified at this trial.

I was out in Oregon (Sept 22-24) and an unusual heat wave had hit.  Being a guy from Virginia, I knew heat.   The west coast heat wave was the dry variety and a run in 93 degrees had no effect on me.  It did have an impact on a high school cross country runner in northern California.  Most high school cross country teams have key dual or quad meets mid-week.  One meet near Redding California was of this nature.   On Wednesday the 23rd, a high school boy collapsed after racing in a 5K cross country meet.  Three days later, he died.  How could this happen?  Cross Country season begins in late summer and ends in late fall.   Heat is not a major issue even for early season meets.  What floored me when reading the news reports was the ambient temperature that afternoon of the meet:  100 – 103.

Two years ago, a heat wave gripped the Midwest in early October.  Most of us remember what occurred with the Chicago Marathon and the early shutdown of the race after nearly three hours of racing.   What should have occurred in Northern California in September?   Should there be guidelines involving heat and wet bulb temperature readings for event, race, or meet directors?   If we can prevent a fatality, don’t we act accordingly?   Shutdown the race or meet?

It is a difficult decision but a decision that can save lives.  

--Enjoy the Run

Dave Watt



Latest News
Luxury Cruise Fitness: It Can Be Done
Luxury Cruise Fitness: It Can Be Done

Aug 02 1:02 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

Comrades Ultra - Loose and Fun = Success
Comrades Ultra - Loose and Fun = Success

Jun 04 12:26 p.m.

Article by: Rick Ganzi, M.D.

Young Milers in Anaheim CA love running
Young Milers in Anaheim CA love running

May 15 3:03 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

Catch Them If You Can
Catch Them If You Can

Apr 08 7:22 p.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables

New Roles of Sports Chiropractic
New Roles of Sports Chiropractic

Feb 21 11:15 a.m.

Article by: Jeff Venables