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Holiday races still on, despite heat

July 03, 2012|By Tracy Swartz | RedEye

Despite a forecast of temperatures in the high 90s for Wednesday, local race directors say Fourth of July races will run as scheduled.

The National Weather Service today issued heat watch for the city of Chicago until 7 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures are anticipated to reach in the high '90s. The Chicagoland area is under a heat advisory. Running experts say in this type of weather, overheating and dehydration is a concern.

Bob Richards, race director of Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, said his area is without power but Wednesday's four-mile race in Elmhurst will be held—despite the weather.

Last year, about 800 runners participated in the DuPage County race. Richards said this year he expects more than 900 runners for the race, which is scheduled to begin at 7:15 a.m.

"We're going to tell runners to be very cautious. We're going to have extra water," said Richards, adding that he has generators on standby to deal with the power outage. "It's a real challenge; we're not giving up; we're still going forward."

The Village of Riverside in Cook County also plans to hold its Independence Day 5K and says its stocked up on plenty on hydration.

The Tinley Park Park District in Cook County is slated to hold its Stars and Stripes 5K on Wednesday as well.

"We are taking the necessary precautions. We will have water on hand," said Matt Libs, park district marketing manager. "For the most part, the runners, they're out running in any kind of weather. It's the kind of thing that for the most part, they do plan for it."

tswartz@tribune.com | @tracyswartz

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