Unsafe conditions force Fox Valley Marathon races to end early

  • The Fox Valley Marathon was shut down early Sunday after organizers determined conditions were too hot for runners.

      The Fox Valley Marathon was shut down early Sunday after organizers determined conditions were too hot for runners. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/17/2018 11:14 PM

The Fox Valley Marathon was shut down almost five hours into Sunday's races after organizers determined conditions were too hot and unsafe for runners.

About 2,000 participants finished the marathon, half marathon and Fall Final 20 before the clock stopped, said Dave Sheble, race director. About 400 were picked up along the course or crossed the finish line afterward, he said, noting they were still given endurance streak and Chicagoland Distance Challenge medals.

 

With temperatures expected to reach the upper 80s Sunday, organizers made special preparations to ensure runners would stay safe and hydrated, Sheble said. Participants were allowed to change their distance without being penalized and extra water supplies were added along the course.

But as the day progressed, he said, the race's medical director deemed conditions unsafe due to the heat and other factors.

"In the interest of safety, it was absolutely the right decision," Sheble said, noting this was the first time the race had to be shut down early in the event's history. "It was a tough call, but the right call."

The annual race, which is in its ninth year, starts in St. Charles and takes runners along the Fox River through Batavia, Geneva and North Aurora. This year's event saw an uptick in the number of medical cases, Sheble said, but he believes stopping the clock early reduced additional strain on the runners and prevented more serious medical issues.

"It was uncharted territory for us, but nothing we weren't prepared for," he said. "All in all, it was a pretty good win, we think, given the challenges that were presented."

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