Bedford Harriers A.C.
Heat cuts Rotterdam marathon short
16 April 2007
The Rotterdam marathon was cut short on Sunday because of the extreme heat. The organisers announced this measure some 3.5 hours into the event after a great number of participants were unable to continue.
Of the 7,800 participants, just over 4,200 finished the race, the remaining 3,600 were unable to cross the finish line, either because of the heat or the decision to stop the race early.
All the participants still on the route were advised to walk the remaining distance and vans were available to pick up people unable to continue.
Some 30 participants were taken to hospital, many of them with symptoms of dehydration. 17 were admitted for further treatment.
Two runners who collapsed were successfully resuscitated, said a spokesperson for the emergency medical services. "Everyone got a medal," said marathon director Mario Kadiks. Many participants complained that there was not enough drinking water. Kadiks dismissed this criticism, saying that there was enough water on hand for all the runners. Despite his claim however, runners reported that they regularly reached water stations and were told to "find a cup" from the discarded ones along the road since there were no clean ones left.
"All that was left when I reached one water station was a bucket, with bits of dirt floating in it. It was very badly organised," said Michael Casey (26) of Leiden. A winner had already crossed the finish line when the race was cut short: Joshua Chelanga (34), from Kenya, came in first in the 34-degree heat with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 21 seconds.
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