Record heat index forces changes to annual Corporate 5K race

ORLANDO, Fla. — In Thursday’s Corporate 5K, runners and walkers will compete against Central Florida’s biggest challenge - the heat.


Nearly 13,000 runners, walkers, and 500 corporate and nonprofit teams who in SimplyIOA Corporate 5K saw modifications to the racecourse as organizers monitored extreme temperatures.

“Anytime you have an event, you need to be ready for change, particularly these days with the weather,” said Jon Hughes, President of Track Shack events.

Hughes said to prevent heat-related issues, they shortened the race, pushed back the start times, and added more cooling and water stations on the course.

Read: Corporate 5K in downtown Orlando: What you need to know

Severe Center 9 reported a heat index nearing 100 Thursday and added precautions to those doing outdoor activities.

The race went from 3.1 miles to 2.4 miles. Runners were told their new start time was 6:45 pm, and walkers started around 6:55 pm.

Changing the start time allows for slightly lower temperatures and better conditions. Shortening the distance allows runners and walkers the opportunity to participate with a reduced chance of heat-related issues.

Read: Beat the heat: 9 ways to protect yourself from extreme heat

“What we wanted to do is obviously try to keep them out of them out there as little as possible,” said Hughes.

Along with the start times, Hughes said they doubled the size of the medical personnel tents, added more water, towels, and sponge stations, and are monitoring runners to check for fatigue and signs of heat-related issues.

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