27,000 runners participated in the Copenhagen Half Marathon on the streets of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. While many achieved their expectations of good race times, an unusually high number also experienced that the heat had an impact on their performances.
The temperatures in the city streets rose to 23 degrees throughout the day, and the hot weather conditions proved to be challenging for many runners – leading to cases of overheating. More runners than usual required treatment from the race’s medical team to recover, creating a busy situation for the medical team and added pressure on the lines when race officials needed to request medical assistance.
In collaboration with the Copenhagen Police, Hovedstadens Beredskab, andRegion Hovedstaden, the race management activated extra treatment capacity during the race.
“More runners than usual became overheated today. The severity of the cases has not been alarming, but there have been more cases than usual. This created extra pressure on the phones to our medical center when officials called in to request medical assistance,” said Dorte Vibjerg, CEO of Sparta Atletik and Løb, the organizer of the Copenhagen Half Marathon.
“We have a central set-up where we sit in the same room as the Capital Region of Denmark’s Acute Preparedness and other authorities, so we can react quickly if something extraordinary needs to be handled. And when we start experiencing increased demand on our phones and resources, we call in extra resources to the finish area,” explained Dorte Vibjerg.
“Despite the extraordinary workload, it has always been our and the authorities’ assessment that the situation was under control. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it can be uncomfortable when – like some of our officials – you find yourself in a situation where you can’t necessarily determine whether it’s dehydration, overheating, or something more serious,” said Dorte Vibjerg.
“We put a lot of effort into coordinating with authorities and emergency services during our races. The fact that we can collaborate to mobilize or relocate resources when needed tells us that the collaboration between all parties is functioning as it should,” said Dorte Vibjerg, who also praised all officials for their efforts at the race.
Despite the hot day, a record number of participants crossed the finish line. At the same time, the route as well as the new start and finish areas in Frederiksberg lived up to the organizers’ expectations. Therefore, Sparta Atletik & Løb is looking forward to welcoming 30,000 enthusiastic runners in 2024.