Race organizers prepare for intense heat in Cottage Grove - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Race organizers prepare for intense heat in Cottage Grove

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COTTAGE GROVE (WKOW) -

For the past seven years the Hot2Trot race has been raising money for the Cottage Grove Fire Department.

Organizers say this year will be the hottest one yet, so they're taking extra precautions.

"We have added three more water stations than were originally planned," Paula Severson, an organizer, said. "We have contracted a local bus company so that in the case of extreme heat or extreme weather, we have a bus on standby to go pick up runners and then we have amazing partnerships with our local law enforcement, EMS and fire."

Deer Grove Paramedics will have a wide array of tools available to keep runners safe, along with extra staff.

"So we're going to have seven folks spread out along the course specifically for this," Jerry McMullen, with Deer Grove Paramedic, said.

Even with all of the extra preparations, there is a chance the 100+ runners at Fireman's Park on Saturday might not finish their race.

"So there's a yellow flag, that's moderate risk, keep going." Severson said. "Red flag is things are pretty hot, start slowing down, and black flag is, the race is over we're going to come and get ya."

All of the army of volunteers will have each of the flags to keep runners aware as they go through their 5Ks or half-marathons.

The black flag will be raised when the heat index hits 90.

But for some runners, who've been doing this race a while, the heat is something they're used to.

"This is always a hot one for some reason," Gage Hunter, one of the 5K runners, said. "It's always fortunate when that the weather is nice, I've never been here when it's raining."

The experienced runners say the key is to start hydrating the night before the race.

But the most important part is not to push yourself too far.

"If you start feeling dizzy or lightheaded during the race, it's better to just step aside than just to push through it," Hunter said. "It's not worth it getting heat stroke."

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