Extreme heat could shorten running portion of Ironman Louisville - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Extreme heat could shorten running portion of Ironman Louisville

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With a projected heat index above 100 degrees, concern is mounting about Sunday's Ironman Louisville competition. 

"We will discuss with the Ironman group as to what precautions or potential modifications need to be taken into consideration for Sunday and such extreme conditions," said Dr. Steve Heilman, Norton Chief Medical Information Officer.

[ALSO: John Boel braces for another Ironman in scorching heat]

Dr. Heilman says the running portion of the race could be shortened, but that decision would come from Ironman officials. As of 6 p.m. Friday night, Ironman officials say "As of now, no changes have been made to the course." 

"You can always re-plan a race; you can't replace yourself," Heilman said.  

Norton Healthcare has been the medical sponsor of the Louisville Ironman since the first race back in 2007. 

This year volunteers are bringing in more ice, and misting stations will be set up along the run portion of the race. 

"This kind of weather is brutal on everyone, and so we really want to make sure everyone does the best they can to prepare," Heilman said. 

Dr. Heilman says organizers are trying to recruit as many volunteers as they can. Normally one in five athletes seeks medical attention during the Ironman race in Louisville. Heilman said he has concerns that number may be much larger this year. 

New this year, misting machine have been added to the running course to help keep athletes cool. 

Norton officials said they can only share guidance, emphasizing those in the Ironman Louisville camp will have the final say on whether to adjust the length of the running portion of the competition.

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