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Humidity will make it tough for runners

February 07, 2004 17:30 IST

Mumbai's hot and humid conditions could prove a stumbling block for the runners taking part in the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon, on Sunday, February 15, says Race Director Hugh Jones.

Jones, a legend in marathon running with 22 international titles under his belt, told reporters in Mumbai on Saturday, that the runners in Mumbai event will not be able to post timings as good as those of the London or Chicago marathons because of the heat and a slight hillock on the route.

"I personally would run the lap a bit slower, conserving energy for the latter part of the race as the temperature would be rising by the minute," he said.

Jones, who has authored 'The Expert's Guide to Marathon Training' said the adequate water stations along the route would ensure that the full marathoner would encounter water at least 22 times during the race, which should prevent dehydration, an important aspect while running the 42.195 kms course.

Agreeing that athletes from East Africa will be the main contenders, the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) secretary hastened to add that since most them are based in Europe and Central America, they will not be accustomed to the heat and humidity prevalent in Mumbai.

Start and Finish director Bill Reynolds, who also performed the same role at the London marathon, said handling the Mumbai event will be an entirely new experience for him notwithstanding his vast experience at the London event and he will be "playing it by the ear".

Reynolds's responsibilities include ensuring the race starts and finishes on the dot and the thousands of athletes stick to the decided schedule.

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