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Cellcom Green Bay Marathon officials make changes to deal with heat

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - When the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon begins next Sunday, it could be 20 to 30 degrees cooler than a year ago – when 18 runners were sent to hospitals for heat ailments.

This time, the National Weather Service says it will be in the upper 40’s, perhaps with rain.

Still, organizers are taking no chances. Director Sean Ryan says race personnel will communicate more easily with medical workers along the 26 mile route. More paramedics will be spread out.

Volunteers will have hand-held radios at each of the 20 water and medical stations, and they’ll have more radio channels available for safety officers. They only had one such channel a year ago, and that slowed response times – along with the fact that the volunteers on the route used cell phones instead of radios.

Weather will be monitored each hour, unlike a year ago – when the mercury climbed to 80 degrees during the race and people started collapsing.

The race was called after two-and-a-half hours, but most runners kept going anyway.

This year, Ryan says the timing display will be shut off if the race is called – and black markers will be posted at water stations to let the runners know.