Thousands to attend large track-and-field event in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Thousands of student athletes will run, jump, and sprint at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro this weekend as part of New Balance’s Outdoor National Championship.

About 5,400 junior high and high school students will compete in a three-day track-and-field meet on a weekend when temperatures are expected to creep close to 100 degrees.

"We see a lot of heat illnesses here,” said Brandon Jackson a medical coordinator. “Heat stroke, heat exhaustion."

To try to prevent that from happening, coordinators like Jackson are on standby.

"We can rapidly cool athletes," Jackson said.

Jackson says they're geared up with unlimited water and more than 300 gallons of Gatorade per day.

A dozen tubs filled with ice surround the track.

"We dump about two or three bags of ice in here and the athlete just sits and submerges themselves in the water," he said.

Mari Jo Turner says she's taking similar steps to keep the near 200 runners from getting too hot at the Running of the Bulls 5k in Winston-Salem Saturday morning.

"Of course we have EMS that's going to be here," Turner said.

Turner expects turnout to be more than double from last year.

As a result, they've doubled their amount of bottled water and are adding cooling stations.

"We're adding some extra tents so people can be underneath that and just have a place to be protected from the sun," she said.

Protection Jackson says people running or working out in the sun can't afford not to have.

"As your body temperature rises, you can do organ damage and stuff like that so we have to make sure that we're aggressive with the treatment of it," he said.