Butch Ard, Head Coach at Mississippi College asked me to publish this article.
HEAT has been a problem all season long this year and for some reason teams seem to think that it is the host teams responsibility to provide their teams with water. Well I am here to tell you that is almost impossible when you have over 1600 athletes at a meet.
The temps are going to be in the mid 80s for the start of the meet and into the low 90s by the last three races at Mississippi College.
Even though we (MC) will have a trainer, some water, and some ice at the finish, Coach Ard is requiring each school to bring 1) water for their runners, and 2) to bring an ice chest with ice and cold towels for their runners when they cross the finish line. The race staff can not be obligated to ice down 1700 runners after their races. When parents come to me complaining about not enough water or ice at the finish, I am going to refer them to their coach, and the email to their school.
This is a serious safety issue, and the schools need to do their part in making sure their athletes are well hydrated before the race, and are properly cooled down after the race.
I totally agree with Coach Ard on this not just for this race but the rest of the season. I remember at the State Meet a number of years ago where the temp was over 95 degrees and the heat index probably exceeded 100 degrees. We did not monitor heat index back then like we do now. I had one of my runners who probably did not drink enough water the day before or even that morning go down and have to be transported to the hospital for fluids. Mine was not the only one that went down that day. Have your own water and ice at the finish line folks and take care of your runners.
Each team that is registered for the MC Watson Ford Meet has received an email from Coach Ard about this issue so there is no excuse for teams not to be prepared.