For the nearly 30,000 runners who will participate in the Philadelphia Marathon and half marathon on Sunday, be prepared for a chilling experience.
Here on the east coast we have been blessed with an unusually warm autumn. On Monday, the temperature reached the low 70s in Philadelphia, and today, although it is raining, temperatures remain in the 60s.
That will all change this evening, as a cold front arrives, causing the mercury to plummet.
For race day, the HIGH temperature is only expected to reach 48 degrees.
Heat is a marathon runner's worst enemy. It is downright dangerous and deadly. A couple of weeks ago, at a marathon in Savannah, Georgia, two runners died from heat-related complications.
So, if you're going to be a spectator on Sunday in Philadelphia, you may want to duck into a center-city coffee shop for a while. But if you're a runner, except for some wind, conditions should be ideal.
Before you depart for your weekend marathon or half marathon, be sure to pack your "disposables."
You know, throw in that ugly purple t-shirt, covered with the names of sponsors that you received at the Wanker County 5k Run to Save the Cockroaches event you attended last year. Wear it to stay warm, then discard it before the race begins. An old sweatshirt is advisable as well.
Buy a cheap pair of painter gloves. Wear them, carry them if it warms up, or tuck them in the waistband of your shorts.
A hat of some kind is probably recommended, and, rather than waste your money on fancy arm warmers, go old school (and cheap) and cut off the toes of a pair of old socks and slide them on your arms, if that part of your anatomy gets cold.
If tights don't bother you when you race, by all means, wear them. I have found that a pair of compression shorts, worn under my running shorts is usually sufficient.
Of course, the tried and true black trash bag does serve as an excellent pre-race disposable outer garment.
Be sure to pack dry everything for after the race. From socks to a hat, you will need to restore the heat you will lose during the race. Moisture, in the form of sweat, will rob that heat from your body, so make certain to place dry clothes in your bag, and change into them as soon as possible.
Finally, don't let the cooler weather fool you. Especially if you're running the marathon, be certain to hydrate. Cold or not, your body is dehydrating (that sweat again), so do not neglect that important element of your race.
Best of luck to all runners at the Philadelphia Marathon. Enjoy a first-class major marathon in the City of Brotherly Love.