Record Heat Not Stopping Nation’s Top Track Stars In Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Triple-digit temperatures aren’t stalling track and field star’s USA championship dreams as hundreds gear up for the main event this week.

Some of nation’s top athletes will be at the event as Sacramento once again gets to show off its enthusiasm for track and field, but will have to deal with the heat.

“It’s definitely going to be an added factor,” said Liz Costello, a 10,000-meter runner from Boston.

“When I get too hot, you start getting dehydrated and start battling cramps and things like that,” said Clayton Vaughn, a sprinter from Texas.

Training and last-minute setup are underway at Sacramento State, an event expected to draw up to 10,000 people each day.

“This is an event that’s close to $10 million and economic impact for the city,” said event director Mike Sophia. “It’s also great exposure around the world as eyeballs will be watching this from everywhere.”

The hot weather may not be the best for the audience, but it’s actually appreciated by many athletes.

“They say this week is going to be one of the hottest in Sacramento, so we just knew that we had to be hydrated,” Vaughn said.

But are track fans willing to brave the scorching sun in the stands?

“It’s going to be tough for the fans, but we are going to have some great races,” Sophia said.

So what are officials recommending to beat the heat?

Bring a Frozen sealed water bottle, cooling towel, a cushion to sit on, and of course Sunscreen.

Coolers aren’t permitted and nothing larger than a backpack.

“Umbrellas and tents are kind of a no-go because we expect to have a fair number of people here and don’t want impact anybody’s vision,” Sophia said.

While there are no plans as of yet to cancel a race, the start times may shift.

“Most of the distance runs are being pushed to the evening, we are going to try and push them a little bit later. Athlete safety is obviously a huge priority,” he said.

“(I am going to) think about it as still being in the heat and in the sun and if he gets pushed back, that would be great,” Costello said.

Athletes say, either way, they’re determined to do their best despite the treacherous forecast.

“I’m ready, it’s going to be a fun meet. USAs always bring out the best in me so it’s going to be a good meet,” Vaughn said.

While the Track and Field Championships will take off Thursday, temperatures are beginning to change some plans across Sacramento.

A number of outdoor events are being modified or even canceled because of the heat wave.

Wednesday’s Legislative Soccer match for charity and Thursday’s Fair Oaks concert in the park will be postponed until August.

More from Jennifer McGraw
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