The 2011 Hotter 'N Hell Hundred is set to live up to its name this year. Record temperatures are making this the hottest year in the race's 30-year history. Due to the extreme conditions, some of the race times have been changed.
The heat is set to be near record level for the race weekend. "The National Weather Service has been telling us there will be no change to this unless it just gets worse," said Race Chairman Roby Christie.
That heat is raising the eyebrows of the event's Chief Medical Officer. "We don't want people to get sick and we certainly don't want to cause long-term medical problems for people. So we decided we can't do anything about the weather, but all we can do is shift everybody back as early as we can," said Christie.
Riders are prepping for the heat, by training in it. "Its really nice to get up at 6:00 a.m. and day break or even go in late evenings and ride, but you have to acclimate yourself to the hot weather or you're not going to be able to. Your body is not going to be used to it," said Kevin Peigne with Texoma Cycling Center.
Peigne will be busy with other TCC staff, helping other riders on the big race day, so he is riding in the mountain bike race on Friday afternoon. He's already training for the conditions. "Mountain biking, road cycling, just casual rides with my son, pulling him behind the trailer doing everything like that in the heat of the day… As long as you're drinking water its fine," said Peigne.
Here is a list of the updated start times:
- All rides less than 100 miles will begin at the traditional 7:05 start time
- 100 mile Pace groups (led by pace cycles) will start at 6:00 a.m.
- Tandem 100 mile riders will start at 6:10 a.m.
- 100 mile non-professional riders will start at 6:15 a.m.
Newschannel 6 will have complete coverage of the 2011 Hotter 'N Hell. Check back in coming days for stories you will see only on 6.