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Cyclists Power Through Green Country Heat For Road Race

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BIXBY, Oklahoma -

EMSA is reporting that it has responded to seven heat-related calls so far today.

Two of those patients had to be taken to a hospital, but both are now OK.

The calls came from people participating in outdoor activities such as the zoo and a golf course.

EMSA advises if you have to be outside that you take frequent breaks indoors or in a shady area.

The heat also was a challenge for many athletes in the Tulsa area this weekend.

Cyclists came from all across the region to compete in Bixby at the Oklahoma State Championship Road Race. A lot of them prepared days in advance for the heat and the conditions.

Cyclists were doing more than just tuning up their bikes before the race.

They were checking to make sure they had a different kind of fuel handy while out on the race course.

“Started yesterday with plenty of water and taking the electrolytes, took some more this morning and we'll take some during the race,” Mike Patrick said. “Also, we use Gu-type products to help get the caffeine a little more sodium in our system during the race. They're easy to suck down and get rid of."

Cyclists competed on a course that left from Bixby High School and looped back from 191st Street. Some races went up to 70 miles.

Preparing for a summer road race doesn't happen overnight.

“A lot of people want to hydrate the night before... you're going to need about two bottles an hour to manage it,” bicycle shop owner Buster Brown said. “About that 40-mile mark there's going to be some hurting legs and cramping, and so they'll be suffering if they don't drink. They probably won't drink much on the bike either, which is going to cause them to get fatigued a lot quicker."

In the race, cyclists have to carry their own water or rely on a friend to hand out bottles on a designated area on the course.

“The majority of us are carrying three bottles of water--one cold in the back and I've got two on the bike," cyclist Lesley Myrick said. "Just as long as you race smart you'll be OK."

More than 200 cyclists competed in this year's sold-out championship road race.

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