BOISE – One of the hardest races in the Northwest kicks off Saturday, the 35th annual Race to Robie Creek.
It is 13 miles of high-endurance uphill running, and it’s not for the weak. However, this year even the toughest athletes could have some trouble.
“If it turns out to be in the 80’s, like people are predicting, it's going to be one of our warmer years,” said Brian Rencher, with the race committee.
Temperatures are predicted to rise higher than we’ve seen all year and that has race organizers concerned, so they are changing things up.
“We are gearing up a little more water, we are adding some Gatorade to some of our aid stations,” said Rencher.
It’s not uncommon to see snow at the top of Shaw Mountain Road on the route runners will take, but this year, there is no snow. Rencher remembers the last time The Race to Robie received a heat wave that was back in the 1980’s.
“The last time that we had heat up in the 80's we had ten people go out on life flights and we were lucky that year that no one died,” he said.
Rencher said that year; racers pushed their ability to hard.
“We had guys that were in the top ten go out in ambulances and helicopters that day and we don’t want that again,” said Rencher.
When sign up took place in February, the race sold out in less than ten minutes and Wednesday afternoon hundreds of race participants lined the sidewalk around the Basque Center to finally get their number bibs.
“I hope that it is a good experience because I want to continue to do it,” said Tyler King a first time runner from Boise. He knows about Saturday’s predicted warm weather.
“I guess it’s going to be kind of hot that day, but it should be alright,” he said. “I am not going to be breaking any records or anything so, but it should be fun.”
Jessica Stoltzefus and Olivia Buttersworth both came from Twin Falls to pick up their numbers Wednesday. They are also both first time Robie Creek racers and expressed some anxiety about the heat.
“Yes we are pretty worried about that,” said Buttersworth. “I think we are just going to wear shorts and hope for the best and just stay really hydrated and push through it,”
“We have even contemplated bringing our own water to run with as well just in case,” said Stoltzefus.
Race organizers already informed participants of the predicated heat wave advising them to think ahead of Saturday’s race, but each year the conditions are unpredictable.
Organizers decided more water is a must
“Sounds like they have a lot of aid stations out there,” said King.
Many are just hoping for the best.
“We are hoping that the weather forecasters are a little bit incorrect and if we get a day that is in the 60s or 70s would be ideal,” said Rencher.
Medical personnel will be on standby Saturday during the race just in case anything happens. The race starts at high noon on Fort Street.