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10 tips for a fun, safe AJC Peachtree Road Race

Emory Healthcare is an official sponsor of Atlanta's annual AJC Peachtree Road Race. Emory experts offer health and safety tips for the popular Fourth of July race:  

1. Try to get up early on the morning of the race and eat your pre-race meal. "Eating at least one to two hours before your race is recommended but if you have a weak stomach, you may need to eat as much as four hours before the race," says Emory Sports Medicine physician Amadeus Mason. "If you eat three to four hours out, make sure to consume more calories than you would if you eat only one hour before the race."

2. To help stay cooler during the run, wear clothing that wicks away moisture from the skin.  

3. Wear sunscreen and a hat. Brandon Mines, assistant professor of orthopaedics, warns about the dangers of developing skin cancer as a runner. "I recommend wearing sunscreen on every run, regardless of the time of day you run and wearing a hat and/or sunglasses," he says.

4. Use a product like Body Glide on feet and other areas that may chafe to avoid blisters and sore spots after the race.

5. Warm up with some light jogging or some light stretching to loosen tight muscles before you start running.

6. Drink fluids, including ones with electrolytes as well as water, frequently before, during and after running to loosen muscles. Drink to thirst throughout the race. No need to stop at every water station unless you feel thirsty.

7. If the conditions are very hot, slow your pace to ensure you do not develop heat stroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion.  

8. If you experience pain during or after the race and it does not go away, don't wait or ignore it. Schedule an appointment with an Emory Sports Medicine physician.    

9. During the race, if you experience abnormal symptoms of any kind during the race, ask a volunteer to help you to the nearest medical tent.

10. Be alert to your surroundings and stay in the flow of the race. The bombings at this year's Boston Marathon have created a heightened awareness of security.

"Security is obviously a big, important consideration. Boston will have a trickle-down effect, an impact on major races all over the country. It will demand a closer look at what we do," says Emory Head Track and Field Coach John Curtin, who has served on the Peachtree Road Race committee for 20 years.

This year at the Atlanta race there will be more law enforcement presence and an increased number of restricted areas. For more information, see the Peachtree Road Race safety and security information.

Editor's Note: The above information was adapted from Emory Healthcare's
Advancing Your Health blogand from Emory Report's reporting on the community's response to theBoston Marathon tragedy.

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