Greenswell Weather Contingency Plan
The event will proceed “rain or shine” unless the rain contributes to other issues on course (i.e. flooding). In the case of rain the following steps will be taken:
-Participants will be encouraged to wear appropriate clothing.
-Participants will be monitored at aid stations with particular attention.
-Course volunteers will be instructed to wear appropriate clothing throughout the day.
-The course will be monitored for areas of flooding (example: excess storm run-off).
Severe Storms (see Severe Weather Participation Communication procedure)
- Thunder and lightning, delay of race:
Prior to Start of Race:
- When a lightning strike occurs within 6 miles of the event, the Race Start will be delayed by 20 minutes and until after the last strike is 6 miles away. All participants will be notified via PA Announcement and social media channels to seek shelter at the Start Area or to head back to their vehicles if in close proximity.
- All delays will take place in 20 minute time increments past the last 6 mile strike. Example: If race is delayed for 20 minutes and wait has been 18 minutes with no strikes and one occurs within a 6 mile area; the 20 minute rule starts over.
- The race will be delayed up to one hour with no change in event design. If the race is delayed one hour or more and the race is able to begin, the event distance may be reduced to a 1 mile run or walk.
- When a lightning strike occurs within 8 miles of the event, the Safety Director will activate Emergency Action Plan. All aid stations and course support will be notified and communication is made throughout the course. All aid stations will communicate to participants both verbally and by indication of a YELLOW Safety officials and course marshals will also be part of the communication protocol to you.
- When lightning is within a 6 mile radius of the event, the race is suspended and all participants are to seek shelter in place. The event course is primarily residential so seek immediate shelter at a home, business, park shelter along the course. All aid stations will communicate to participants both verbally and by indication of a RED Safety officials and course marshals will also be part of the communication protocol to you.
- The race will not resume until 20 minutes past the last 6 mile strike. Example: If race is delayed for 20 minutes and wait has been 18 minutes with no strikes and one occurs within a 6 mile area; the 20 minute rule starts over.
- If the race resumes, all aid stations, safety officials and course marshals will notify participants along the course the event that the event is resuming.
- If the delay takes place and the race is able to resume at the 1:30 hour mark, all distances will remain the same. After the 1:30 hour mark and before the 2:30 hour mark if the race is able to resume, the course distance will be modified and participants will complete their current lap. After the 3:00 hour mark, the event will not resume and all participants are to return to the Start and Finish area.
- If you hear thunder or see lightening, notify the nearest volunteer, safety official or event team member.
- When a warning is issued by sirens or other means, seek immediate inside shelter.
- If inside shelter is not available, crouch for protection next to a strong structure or lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area. Cover your head and neck with your arms or a jacket, if you have one.
- If you are on the course, if there is a sturdy structure available, go inside.
- If no building is available, get into a ditch. Being below the prevailing ground level may shield you from some of the tornado wind and flying debris, but there is still danger from those.
- Do NOT unless there is no ditch, climb up under the embankment of a bridge or overpass. This often increases risk.
Extreme Weather Prevention & Actions
Shortening the route will have the following advantages in the case of severe weather:
- Concentrates volunteers and medical assets on a shorter course
- Exposes the participant to any hazards for a shorter period time
- Will allow participants to complete an event experience before experiencing foul weather, bad course conditions, etc.
Cancellation will be used only in the most extreme of circumstances.
- Participants will be notified through all channels possible.
- Volunteers, safety officials and staff will assist in notification.
SEVERE WEATHER PARTICIPATION NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE
Weather is unpredictable and rain is a very real possibility. Barring severe weather emergencies, the event continues despite poor weather conditions. Participants should be prepared for weather conditions and possible changing conditions.
Given that weather can change during the event, weather related announcements may need to be issued after the start of the race. Color-coded flags will be used to communicate the status of forecasted weather conditions during the event.
These flags will be displayed at Aide Station areas as follows:
Green Flag – Safe to Proceed; Fair weather through light/moderate rain:
Yellow Flag – Proceed with Caution; Excessive heat, moderate to strong winds, heavy rain or other precipitation is creating potentially hazardous situations on the route. Lightening spotted in the area but outside the 8 mile radius.
Red Flag – Do Not Proceed; Severe weather warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service, or severe precipitation is creating hazardous conditions or flooding on the route. Proceeding along the course is considered unsafe at this time. Participants who proceed do so at their own risk.
If race day is significantly hotter than the preceding days, or if the few days leading up to and including race day are extremely hot, then the risk of exertional heat stroke is much increased. There is the possibility that as runners and walkers will either not be acclimatised or else they may start the race already dehydrated from previous heat exposure. If this is the case, the following activity and awareness activity will take place:
- Announcements leading up to race day warning participants of heat risks and recommending hydration increase leading up to the event
- Pre-race announcements of current temperature and heat index and recommend pre-race hydation
- If Heat index >72 -80 (see below) chart pre-race, aide stations on course will increase to (8) or (9)
- If Heat index >80- 88 pre-race and expected to be the same or increase during the race, race will be modified to quarter marathon
- If Heat index >88 pre-race and expected to be the same or increase during the race, race will be postponed or suspended
During the event, a graded flagging system based on the Heat Stress Index (HSI) has been devised. According to this system:
– Black flag (extreme risk, HSI > 88): If cancellation is not possible participants will be advised of the risks and not to compete.
– Red flag (high risk, 80 > HSI > 88): All runners will be made aware that heat injury is possible. Those susceptible to heat will be advised not to compete and all runners urged to slow their pace and hydrate adequately.
– Yellow flag (moderate risk, 72 > HSI > 80): Participants with high risk for heat stroke will be recommended that they withdraw.
– Green flag (low risk, 72 > HSI)
Social Media Communication Channels & Schedule
- If weather is questionable for the Start of the race, current event updates will take place every 30 minutes beginning at 4:30 pm on event day.
- The following social media channels will be utilized:
- Twitter: @GreenswellCO
- Facebook: Greenswell
- RaceRoster Email Channel: Email address you registered for the event
The Event Director reserves the right to postpone the race start, reduce the race length, or cancel the race to ensure the safety of its participants. We will do everything within our capabilities to communicate cancellation, postponement, or alteration of the event to participants as quickly as possible. In all cases, participants are responsible for their own safety and should use their best judgment in deciding whether or not to continue if severe weather conditions exist.