Organizers brace for hottest IRONMAN ever - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Organizers brace for hottest IRONMAN ever

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Just days separate hundreds of athletes from the IRONMAN Triathlon this Sunday. While competitors have been training for months, alterations will have to be made. Weather forecasters are saying that this Sunday may be more than 100 degrees, making it the hottest IRONMAN ever held in Coeur d'Alene in its 13 year history.

"That's just the beast that is IRONMAN and makes it such an unpredictable thing," says Andrea Barlow of Coeur d'Alene, a first-time IRONMAN competitor.

Barlow began training in December but tells KHQ, because of the warmer than normal temperatures, she's had to make a few changes. Some changes are just as simple as drinking more water mixed with electrolytes. But what she can't train her body to do, can easily be bought.

"I use 'icefil' sleeves," says Barlow. "They activate with the moisture on your body and cool your body down by about five degrees. Five degrees may not sound like much, but it'll make all the difference when you're running in 100 degree heat."

Barlow isn't the only one making adjustments, race coordinators are doing the same.

"We're going to have extra water, extra ice, extra Gatorade," says Keats McGonigal, IRONMAN Race Coordinator.

The heat is such a concern that the start times for the triathlon will now begin earlier than usual, at 5:30 in the morning.

"Our biggest concern is making sure our athletes are okay," says McGonigal.

This may be her first Ironman, but Barlow says she's not concerned. Her focus is on the race, not the heat.

"You have to rely on what you can control, and I can't control the sun."

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