WASHINGTON — A record-breaking warm day Sunday in the D.C. area disrupted the Army Ten-Miler, and caused dozens of runners to seek medical help.
Eighty-seven runners ended up in medical tents and 39 were taken to hospitals in Arlington and D.C. Sunday, according to local emergency officials.
At 10:08 a.m., the race was downgraded to a “recreational run” as a safety precaution because of extreme heat and humidity. Only people finishing the course before then received official run times. Also, the race was rerouted to shorten it by about a mile to try to prevent heat-related injuries.
Most of the heat-related casualties were closer to the end of the race in Arlington where medics had contact with 142 people in all, according to Arlington County Fire Department Capt. Benjamin O’Bryant. Medics in D.C. helped 15 patients in all, said Fire/EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo.
Sunday experienced the warmest low temperature on record for D.C. for the month of October since 1872, National Weather Service Meteorologist Andy Woodcock said. The lowest temperature on Sunday was 75 degrees.
“On Sunday, Oct. 8, D.C. broke records both for the day as far as the warmest low temperature and all time for the month of October.”
Woodcock said Sunday “shattered” the previous record by 7 degrees — the warmest low daily record that was set in D.C. in 2007.
Woodcock said the high pressure off the coast pumped warm, moist air into the region. Combined with the arrival of Tropical Storm Nate, the impact drenched the air with humidity levels similar to what there would be in July and August.
Sunday experienced dew points in the 70s.
“Seventy-two degree dew points in October is just crazy,” Woodcock said. “Bodies can’t cool themselves when you get dew points that high. And, so that’s part of the reason there were the heat injuries.”