Steamtown Marathon directors worry about Sunday's heat

Directors ask homeowners to put out water and hoses

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Runners from all around the world are beginning to arrive in Lackawanna County.

The 22nd annual Steamtown Marathon is scheduled for Sunday and the weather is going to be a big concern.

Cloudy with temperatures in the 50's is what most runners consider to be ideal marathon conditions but on Sunday it is expected to be sunny and the temperature could hit 80 degrees.

That could make this the second warmest Steamtown Marathon and as a result race organizers are asking for the public's help.

Members of the race committee are asking anyone who lives along the race route to put out tables with cups of water and possibly make garden hoses available to help keep runners hydrated and cool.

While the race will have 14 official aide stations, directors think even more could be needed especially on the back-half of the 26.2 miles.

"From the area near Blakely borough park into Dickson City, the city of Scranton and Green Ridge and then the final neighborhoods in Scranton leading to the finish, they'd be the most important areas that we keep the runners very, very hydrated," assistant race director Jim Cummings said.

After starting in Forest City, the marathon will wind its way through the Green Ridge section of the city where that neighborhood group heard the call.

"Anything that they need, Green Ridge steps up, we step up and we'll do what we have to for our runners. We always want to make sure that people are safe," Green Ridge Neighborhood Association president Mark Seitzinger said.

Gerald Langan lives right near the marathon's 24-mile mark.

It is called "Heart Break Hill," one of the toughest on the course, so he plans to put out his garden hose Sunday to help runners.

"When they get here everybody cheers a little harder because you know they've just about had it. They're out of gas," Langan said.

Besides keeping runners hydrated, race directors are also working to keep them safe.

After the shooting in Las Vegas, officials held a meeting with police this week to review security procedures.

They're confident everything will be safe but runners and spectators may not even see all of the preparations.

"Some of them are so secretive that the law enforcement officials aren't even telling us what they're going to do," Cummings said.

Race directors say runners can only bring clear bags with them to the starting line and anyone is subject to being searched.

At the finish line, there will be a fenced off secure area where only runners and race officials are permitted to be.

A total of 1,800 runners are expected to take place in this year's Steamtown Marathon. The runners come from 43 states along with countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil and Canada.

 


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