Heat Forces Changes To Tulsa Tough's Sunday Non-Competitive Rides

Saturday, June 11th 2016, 8:09 pm
By: News On 6

The heat is a major concern at the Tulsa Tough this year.  Experts are warning people to stay hydrated and take extra precautions if you plan to be outside in the sun.      

It has even forced Tulsa Tough organizers to issue a heat advisory to Gran Fondo participants on Sunday.

All crit races will resume as scheduled, however, for the non-competitive Gran Fondo rides, they are canceling the 103-mile Gran route and also canceling the Deuce Challenge. Those registered for these rides may participate in the shorter 65.1-mile Medio route. Registrants for the Double Tough Challenge may also participate in the 65.1-mile Medio and earn the Double Tough jersey upon completion.

"We have made this decision because the safety of our riders is our No. 1 priority," a statement said. "We recognize that many cyclists have experience with riding in hot weather. However, the summer heat, humidity and intense sun has increased much more dramatically this year, with Saturday being the first truly hot summer day of the season. We believe most riders have not adjusted to the weather yet."

Just walk a few blocks out here and you'll feel that heat.  You certainly don't have to be working extra hard on a bicycle to fall victim to heat exhaustion.  
With the heat index, it is imperative to stay hydrated and in the shade when possible.  

Officials say they have treated five people for heat-related issues, one of whom was taken to the hospital as a precaution on Saturday.

People all along the course were carrying water bottles and there are even several places you can get water for free. You can stop by the medical tent or top off your bottle at one of the many water monster stations scattered around the course.

"Drink a lot of water," EMSA Operations Manager Kim Richards said. "I can't stress that enough, it's so hot right now with the humidity. You're sweating out more than you can intake. It's very important that you continue to drink a lot of water.  Wear light clothes, breathable clothes."

Many people are downtown to have a good time as spectators of the race, but remember drinks with caffeine or alcohol will speed up the process of dehydration. Experts say a smart thing to do would be to alternate your drinks with water to make sure you stay safe.