The team at Rock ’n’ Roll Savannah Marathon & 1/2 Marathon have received a large volume of inquiries regarding a number of aspects from Saturday’s race day. While we share the disappointment of many runners whose races were diverted due to the implemented heat plan, we would like to take this opportunity to respond to several of the frequently asked questions relating to the race.
If you have additional questions or feedback that you would like to provide, we encourage you to complete the participant survey that you will receive via email this week.
We greatly appreciate your understanding, and the overwhelming support we have received for the difficult decision we made to shorten the race course.
Why did you implement a heat plan and cut the marathon short?
Our medical team, in consultation with Southside Fire Department, St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management imposed the heat plan once conditions reached pre-determined wet bulb globe temperatures. A wet bulb globe temperature is a single reading that combines the effect of temperature, humidity, wind chill and sunlight.
Why was I diverted and not allowed to complete the marathon?
In consultation with local officials, we made the difficult decision to divert runners along the course due to the health risk posed by over-exertion in the unseasonably warm and humid conditions. As previously communicated, we did implement a comprehensive heat plan, which included additional cooling elements along the marathon course. Unfortunately, these tough running conditions were deemed excessive and dangerous by our medical officials and their consulting team.
I signed a waiver, it should have been my choice whether I continued to run or not!
Our medical team works in consultation with the Southside Fire Department, St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management and it was on the advice of all of these parties, in conjunction with the wet bulb globe temperature reading, that we made the joint decision to shorten the race course, understanding the disappointment that this would cause for many of our runners.
We acknowledge that many participants would have been able to complete the course in the conditions without concern and that others would have been compromised by those conditions and therefore not in the best position to make an informed decision regarding their health. For this reason we made the difficult call to end the race early, considering the greater needs of the running community.
If you had a plan why didn’t you implement it earlier?
Our medical team, in consultation with Southside Fire Department, St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management had been monitoring the weather all week and planning a contingency in the case that severe conditions were reached. The heat plan was imposed, as planned for, once conditions met pre-determined temperature and humidity thresholds, as measured with a wet bulb.
Where were the promised cooling elements placed on the marathon course?
Additional cooling elements that were promised via email to marathoners were placed along the back half of the marathon course. Cooling buses were located at miles 12/24, 14.2/20.7, and 16/18.7 on the marathon course. Ice sponges were located at miles 12 and 24 on the Truman Parkway. Unfortunately, due to the course diversions runners may have bypassed some of these relief items.
Why did the race start late?
The start of the race was delayed by several minutes as a safety protocol for runners, as the course was not secure. There were still vehicles moving on the course and the start was delayed to ensure these were safely moved. We agree that it was less than ideal that the race did not start exactly on time and it is most unusual for a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race to be late. We apologize for this.
How do I fix my race finishing time?
We apologize for the complications and inaccuracies to your race time due to having your race route altered. You can request a time correction via the following link: http://www.runrocknroll.com/finisher-zone/search-and-results/?eventid=7
You should have limited capacity – the course was too crowded
Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah does have course capacity limits and these limits were not exceeded on Saturday. If you experienced congestion in parts of the course we believe that this was due to a greater number of runners ‘easing off’ in the tough conditions and moving more slowly through the course, and due to the course diversions converging runners at merge points.
How could you run out of water?
As part of our heat plan, additional allowances were made for both servings of cups and water. A total of 274,500 servings of water and 135,000 servings of Gatorade were distributed among our refreshment stations, to service our approximately 14,000 participants. A greater quantity of cups was made available towards the back end of the course.
Despite these additional allowances, unfortunately some of the water stations were so overwhelmed with demand that the teams experienced temporary lapses in refilling. This may have appeared to runners as they passed that the station was out of supply. We can confirm that one water station did run out of water for 15 minutes and two other stations ran out of Gatorade cups. For this we are truly sorry. The demand by runners exceeded even our revised estimations and for future events we will cater to an even greater estimated usage and position more cups earlier on in the course.
I heard the water was contaminated – you were serving it from trash bins!
The use of lined barrels for water stations (that are used only for this purpose) is standard operation for running events. These are only used when supplied by a continuous source of water. Potable water is transferred from the City’s water system to the barrels. Cups are then filled with pitchers.
Similarly, garden hoses are utilized at all stations where a hydrant or city source is in use. Any water that was received on course, no matter the conduit, all came from the same city water source. The water used came directly from a drinking supply and was not contaminated.
With all the race diversions, how will you calculate age group awards?
Age Group Awards are awarded by age, sex and by division, so the marathon age group awards will go to participants that crossed the finish line soonest, and ran the entire distance.
Similarly, half marathon awards will be awarded by age, sex and by division.
If you placed first, second or third in your division your award will be mailed to you within 6 – 8 weeks.