Sunday, August 15, I made my way to a spot on White Rock Lake to spectate the Hottest Half Marathon and 10K. I had previewed the map and was right at mile 2 as the runners were running by. I clapped continuously as a very large crowd came by, everyone still looking strong. But at only 2 miles in, I think a lot were worried about what the news had said the previous day was going to be the hottest day of the year, because as I cheered I was already getting responses of "Thanks, I need that." and the like.
By the time 10Kers were coming back at approximately mile 4 on this out-and-back course, our cheering group was a great size. Heels and Hills Run Team member Veronica M. was there cheering her heart out. Jeff S. had just spotted us during his short run and ended up staying to cheer, which was awesome. Jose V. and his son Andrew came out to cheer and help out which was so valuable later when we all became part-time medical help, LOL, but I'll get to that. And then there's Erik - poor Erik - who had an appendectomy 3 weeks ago and then a bad sinus infection earlier race week, but was smart and turned back several miles into the race, so stayed to cheer with us as his wife Michelle ran the half marathon.
There were quite a few people on the course in their Heels and Hills hot pink, which was so fun to see.
I had bought 20 lbs of ice and 3 1/2 lbs of gummy bears to serve half marathoners when they hit us again at about mile 11. Well, the ice was a massive hit, and I don't think I realized how much each person in their desperation would take. I could have easily gone through 100 lbs of ice! So that went quickly.
But then people loved the gummy bears too. We got a few "I love you"s, which is funny. And then when offered them, many would say "Sure, why not?" This was hilarious given how hot everyone was. We could have said "Handgun?" and some runners looking for anything to get this done would have said, "Sure, why not?" without thinking.
It was so blazingly hot and that course has a lot of unshaded area, and runners started passing telling us to watch for a girl that looked bad and was weaving on course. Then we saw a girl walking left and right across the whole trail approaching us. And then her knees buckled and she went down. Jose did a great job attending to her. He wanted to elevate her feet and pulled off and stacked her running shoes to create that height - brilliant. He asked if we had anything to put under her head there in the grass so I ran to my car where I happened to have a big beach towel. A few runners ran on to the next aid station to tell them to call the medical team. While we waited, I soaked her headband in the last leftover melted ice and then luckily I had brought some water bottles (for myself to drink) which she ended up badly needing.
After about a half hour we were really wondering where the medical crew was. I had a lightbulb and called Paula at our Heels and Hills tent at the finish line and told her exactly where we were (including address) and told her to track down finish line medical and send them immediately. We were getting really worried as another guy had gone down and his eyes were rolling back in his head and he was losing consciousness.
Medical did come because of the call I made and attended to folks. Shortly after that I was feeling a little overheated, especially having donated my own water to the dehydrated girl, and was supposed to meet out-of-town guests and my husband at brunch, so I sadly left before everyone finished.
Congrats to everyone who braved the heat and completed the event. And equally awesome are those who realized they might be at risk and slowed down or chose not to finish because ultimately they needed to take care of their own health. Safety first, folks!