Hottest race on Earth takes off Saturday

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Hundreds of runners have flown into the Valley to take part in the so-called “hottest race on Earth,” an 11K scheduled for the heat of the day.

“Scottsdale Beat the Heat” participants will take off at 2:47pm Saturday, the exact time Phoenix set a record back in June of 1990 as the temperature soared to 122 degrees.

Organizers say, so far, 1,000 people have registered, representing 28 different states, Great Britain and Ireland.

Jason Clemence from Boston combined the race with a family vacation.  He flew into Phoenix on Monday, partly to prepare himself for running in triple digits.

“It’s gone really well so far,” he told 3TV.  “I did the exact distance of the race yesterday.”

3TV caught up with him on Friday night at dinner, where he shared his pre-race strategy.

“Eat carbs, drink a lot of water, watch the D-backs win,” said Clemence.

Jason’s wife, Tianna Tagami, used to live in the Valley, so she’s all too familiar with desert heat.

“I’m kinda worried about the whole event,” said Tagami. “You know, the people running and their loved ones standing out there for an hour waiting for them.”

But organizers are taking the health concerns seriously.  PMT Ambulance is the signature sponsor.

A spokesman says there will be three ambulances inside the event and one outside. In addition, there will be about 26 firefighter/paramedics, and cooling and hydration stations.

“We’ll be able to give fluid, do rapid cooling,” said Paramedic James Cunningham of PMT.

Based on the numbers of participants, Cunningham expects to potentially treat up to 50 people.

“Listen to your body,” Cunningham advises runners. “If you’re starting to feel light headed and dizzy, then clearly you’re dehydrated, and it’s time to stop and grab a medical professional on scene.”

“As long as you hydrate and respect the heat, rather than try and defy it, I think it will mostly be okay,” said Jason Clemence.

It’s not too late to register.  For more information, go to