The week-long weather forecast for the Marathon Classic calls for plenty of heat with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees.
LPGA players, tournament staff volunteers, and thousands of spectators arriving at Highland Meadows Golf Club should prepare for heat and humidity.
“We’ve stocked a lot more ice packs and I.V. fluids just in case we have to rehydrate or cool any patients down,” said Mercy LifeStar operations manager Chris Schultz. “We did bring an extra ambulance on sight here to transport, so if we need to get someone out right away we can do so.”
Activities got under way Monday with a Pro-Am event. The first round of the LPGA event tees off on Thursday morning under predicted 90-degree temperatures and a 40 percent chance of rain.
The heat could play a role in affecting more than just the players. It could make for difficult conditions for the fans.
Schultz said Mercy LifeStar, of St. Mercy Hospitals, began preparation to work at the tournament months in advance. The emergency medical staff is prepared to address any situation, particularly those associated with heat.
Mercy LifeStar has two air-conditioned campers equipped with medical supplies on the Highland Meadows grounds, as well as four first-aid tents to assist anyone. Schultz said they’re even prepared to assist service animals if there’s a need.
“We would treat them pretty much the same way as we would humans — provide them with cold towels,” he said. “But that’s not something we saw last year, or this year yet.”
Keeping hydrated is the single-most significant concern for an event like the Marathon Classic, which may call for plenty of walking.
“It’s very important,” Schultz said. “You definitely need to be drinking a lot of water and Gatorade on these hot days to try and replace those electrolytes. It’s very important to take breaks as often as you can. Go in the shade or inside if you can. You definitely have to keep drinking that water.”
So Yeon Ryu, the defeding champion, said she prefers playing in hot weather.
“We have to handle the rainy day, windy day, sunny day,” Ryu said. “So maybe a lot of people should just focus on golf and not really care about the weather.”