Runners from all over the country will compete with each other and the heat this Saturday in a race intended to offer competitors a new type of challenge.
“There’s a mentality that you can’t got outside in Arizona in the summer,” Jason Rose, founder of the race, said. “We want to get rid of that mentality.”
Scottsdale Beat the Heat, “the hottest race on earth,” will feature an 11.2 and 5k race on June 22 at 2:47 p.m., the exact day and time that the Phoenix metro area recorded its highest ever temperature of 122 degrees in 1990.
According to Rose, the race is attracting renowned athletes from across the country, noting that the event has already seen individuals from 14 different states sign up.
“The race gives athletes a new opportunity to challenge themselves,” he said. “There hasn’t been anything like this for them before.”
Andrew Lemoncello, 30, who represented Great Britain in the 2008 Olympics and currently resides in Flagstaff, will be competing and said that the race is an “opportunity for a new challenge.”
“There’s not many opportunities to race in Arizona,” he said. “Usually you have to fly to other states.”
He said that the heat “changes how you have to approach the race,” noting that racers are going to have to pace themselves much differently than they would usually.
“It’s all about knowing your body,” he said. “If you’re very smart with your racing, in terms of pacing yourself and hydrating, you’ll do very well.”
Jason Clemence, 32, is traveling all the way from Boston for the race.
“Everybody who gets serious about racing looks for something interesting and new,” he said. “I think there will be a satisfaction to finishing a long hard race when its in triple digit heat.”
Clemence, who raced in the Boston Marathon earlier this year, finishing “2-to-3 minutes after the explosions,” said that the race offers him a “unique challenge.”
Rose noted that the Phoenix metropolitan area struggles to “fill up hotel rooms” in the summer, and the race is a way to attract outsiders to the area, as well as dispel a general fear of the Arizona summer.
Rose said that safety is a major consideration, and is something they are taking “very seriously and proactively,” enlisting PMT Ambulance as the primary sponsor.