Warm Temperatures and High Humidity Expected for the 2018 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
by Chris Kerr, on Apr 26, 2018 11:53:18 AM
Oklahoma has experienced colder than average temperatures for much of the spring thus far. However, a more typical spring-like pattern will develop over the region the next few days, allowing for more seasonal temperatures to return. It just so happens that these more seasonal temperatures will coincide with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on Sunday morning. In past years this race has been affected by thunderstorms, high humidity, and cold temperatures, all of which have taken a toll on participants.
The conditions in 2017 were less than ideal, with temperatures hovering in the mid-40s and occasionally gusty winds, which allowed the wind chill to be in the upper 30s. Conditions at the start of the race this year will be markedly different than last year. While the temperature is expected to be in the mid to upper 50s, it will rise quickly into the upper 60s to near 70 by mid-race as the strong late April sun allows for a rapid warmup. Humidity will also be somewhat high. The warmer temperatures and higher humidity may prove to be a shock to many folks who have been training for months in much different conditions.
Research has shown that runner performance is significantly affected by high humidity. The body is not able to sweat as efficiently since the higher humidity does not allow perspiration to evaporate off your skin. The inability to perspire capably will increase body temperature and thus runners may become fatigued quickly. However, if you have consistently trained in a high humidity environment, it is possible for the body to adapt over the course of several weeks. But, local runners haven’t had those types of conditions around Oklahoma this spring, so it’s possible some runners will have difficulty on Sunday.
Given the expected conditions for the race, runners should be encouraged to hydrate and consume plenty of electrolytes!