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Hot, but it could have been worse

Weather-wise, let's just say it could have been worse for Sunday's morning of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Human Race Half-Marathon.

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Ian Lanza, of Rochester, at left, competes in The Mayo Clinic Healthy Human Race Half-Marathon Sunday in Rochester. Lanza placed first in the event.
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Even though it was the warmest day (87 degrees) of the summer so far, let's just say it could have been worse for Sunday's Mayo Clinic Healthy Human Race Half-Marathon.

"We caught a break, and I mean in a good way,'' said Dr. Ed Laskowski, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "It was cloudy and there was a slight breeze. And at this time of year, that's all you could ask for.''

Laskowski was in charge of the medical tent, and, fortunately, it wasn't overcrowded.

"If you listened to the forecast, it was not good, blazing sun and high humidity. The humidity was there but not the sun. And that was a blessing,'' Laskowski said.

"But we prepared for the worse. Overall, the runners heeded the advice to slow it down and drink plenty of fluids.

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"We treated a few for dehydration and for cramps, but you're going to get those no matter what. I've seen a lot worse.''

The weekend included a kids run, mile walk and 5K on Saturday and guest speakers Friday and Saturday along with a fitness expo.

The kids run was delayed a half hour Saturday morning by rain.

"That was the only hitch as far as I could tell,'' said Jennifer Lamers, project manager for Mayo Clinic, "and it was nothing major.''

The number of weekend participants approached 4,000. On Sunday, there were 920 who finished the half marathon and another 182 in the half marathon relay.

On Saturday, 1,302 completed the 5K while 700 entered the mile walk and another 500 in the kids run.

"Our weekend emphasis was on health, fitness and wellness and I think we hit all of that,'' Lamers said. "I'm totally happy with the way things turned out.''

Former Olympic gold medalist speedskater Apolo Ohno was the keynote speaker on Saturday, and he spoke to a full house at the Mayo Civic Auditorium.

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Race director Mark Bongers said there were 600 weekend volunteers.

"Obviously, we couldn't put this on without them,'' he said, "but the whole community got behind us. And the city of Rochester did everything possible to help make this run smooth.''

Including closing Section Street Southwest, the stretch that runs past Saint Marys Hospital.

"At first when we approached them, they thought I was crazy,'' Bongers said. "You want to close Second Street, are you crazy?

"We closed a couple of hot spots (for traffic), which means we had a lot of people working together.''

Next year?

The Mayo Clinic used the weekend as part of its sesquicentennial celebration and partnered with the Rochester Track Club to put on the half marathon.

"This was part of our 150th anniversary. Nothing has been determined for next year,'' Lamers said.

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The Century swim and dive team, including Julia Cima, left, and Bridget Levenick, cheer for and hydrate participants in The Mayo Clinic Healthy Human Race Half-Marathon.

Related Topics: MAYO CLINIC
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