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'Nightmare' marathon conditions

23rd April 2007

Medical help was needed like never before as thousands competed in last weekend's unseasonably hot London marathon.

During one of the hottest races in the event's 26-year history temperatures soared unseasonably high causing runners to drop with exhaustion and other heat-related problems.  Thousands were said to be treated by St John Ambulance volunteers and it is thought over 73 people needed hospital treatment.  Official figures suggest that 5,000 runners were treated for heat-related problems – a massive one in seven of those who took part.  However, race organisers were keen to point out that no-one died in this year’s race.

The 2007 Flora London Marathon was set to see record numbers of people pass the finishing line as the largest ever number of runners took part but hundreds failed to finish blaming the heat for causing them to drop out.  Others walked and even staggered across the finishing line in a determined effort to complete the gruelling race.

Race organisers said they had provided 30,000 extra bottles of water to help runners cool down but participants said some stations had run out.  635,000 bottles of water were thought to be consumed – an average of 17 per runner. Celebrity chef and marathon veteran Gordon Ramsay said, "It was like running in a desert. I stopped to help one guy. They were dropping like flies."

 

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