Race Day Cancellation, Race Alteration Policy, and Weather Policy
We know how hard you’ve worked to get to the start line, and we hope you know how hard we’ve been working all year to make race weekend special for you! This weekend matters a great deal to us all, but sometimes, plans change based on safety concerns. It is the primary goal of the Williams Route 66 Marathon to provide and ensure a safe event for participants, volunteers, and community attendees alike. We will be diligent in not exposing our participants, volunteers, or the community at large to any undue risk in the production and/or execution of the event. Decisions regarding race cancellations and/or alterations will be based on the safety of the larger community as well as the safety of the participants. Moreover, if community resources are threatened, we will act to protect them from unnecessary stress. Please know that we understand exactly how important race day is to you, and we do not take any decisions regarding cancellation or alteration lightly.
When weather conditions or other hazardous conditions present a danger to the participants as a whole, the Williams Route 66 Marathon officials reserve the right to cancel the race. Less threatening conditions could cause the alteration of the race, including the alteration of the race course and/or length of the race to ensure participant, volunteer, and community safety. The conditions fall under an “Act of God” and will not result in the refunding of any race entry fee or issuance of future race credits. The staging of an event of this magnitude places a significant financial burden on the Williams Route 66 Marathon organization prior to the event date, as the vast majority of costs are paid in advance. Thus, in the event of a forced race cancellation or alteration, it is probable that the financial impact on the race would not be any different than if the race were held without compromise.
The Williams Route 66 Marathon officials, along with City of Tulsa officials, will make decisions regarding the cancellation or alteration of the race in hazardous conditions. Prior to the race, the Williams Route 66 Marathon officials will inform the participants of the weather conditions and how the on-course flag system designation works. Williams Route 66 Marathon officials will describe any changes that may be considered as a result of weather or other unsafe conditions. In the case of a course evacuation, Williams Route 66 Marathon officials, Tulsa Police, and other City of Tulsa officials will communicate throughout the race course to direct participants to safe shelters to await transportation back to the start and/or finish area.
The Williams Route 66 Marathon has adopted the WBGT (Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature) index as its standard. High heat and humidity, as measured in accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for participation in endurance events, could result in cancellation of the event. The WBGT measures the effects of heat and humidity, thereby making it more accurate than simply using the temperature alone as a gauge of conditions. WBGT is considered “the most practical heat stress index characterizing the effect of a heat stress environment on the individual.” While you might think that there’s not likely to be problem with heat during a mid-November race, the WBGT also measures when conditions are severe enough to cause hypothermia.
In order to alert participants to weather conditions on race day, the Williams Route 66 Marathon will use a flag system (refer to the table below). A banner with two flags reflecting the heat stress at the start time will be suspended over the street at the starting line. Gatorade stops along the course will also fly flags corresponding to the current heat stress level. Flags will be changed within 15 minutes of a change in heat stress level. The staff manning each Gatorade stop will be familiar with the meaning of each flag color.
While you personally may be used to extreme heat or cold conditions, not all participants are equally acclimated. We understand the disappointment and frustration of a race being cancelled or altered due to conditions that you personally may find acceptable. However, extreme conditions that are high risk already place a burden on community health care systems, including emergency medical transportation, as well as hospital emergency room capacity. Williams Route 66 Marathon officials will not knowingly place the community in any such position that will place a burden on the overall safety of the community.
The Williams Route 66 Marathon asserts that each participant assumes responsibility when entering an event with the potential risks that endurance events present. All participants should be discerning of their own fitness level in their decision to participate in the weekend events. Furthermore, the Williams Route 66 Marathon strongly advises all participants to cooperate with directives given by Williams Route 66 Marathon officials and to assist in ensuring the safety of their fellow participants, particularly when conditions are less than ideal. Let’s make sure all participants have a fun, happy, and SAFE race day!