Medical Instructions

In order to make the Tar Heel 10 Miler & Fleet Feet Sports 4 Mile Run safe and enjoyable, the following medical guidelines are provided:

Preparation and Safety
Runners participating in this race should have prepared adequately. During the month before the race, your training should include a minimum of two runs that are at least two-thirds the length of this race. Untrained entrants should not attempt the course.

Over 6,000 runners will be on the course, so run defensively, watch for others, and yield if necessary. Watch for potholes on the course. Pace yourself and don’t burn out by starting too fast. Complete the emergency medical information field on the back of your race bib. Please leave your headphones at home (they’re allowed, but not encouraged).

Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity can affect the performance and safety of runners. Warm temperatures and high humidity increase the incidence of heat related injuries.

Air Quality
In the presence of excess pollution or pollen, vigorous physical activity may be hazardous to individuals, particularly those with heart or respiratory problems. Symptoms may include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat; cough; labored breathing; dizziness; fatigue; and severe headache.

Area Weather Information
If you have any health or pulmonary concerns which may be affected by air quality, visit the National Weather Service website at or call 919-515-8209 ext. 1.

[check local weather at Williams Airport in Chapel Hill]

Prevention of Physical Problems
Don’t run to exhaustion during the week before this race.
Avoid fatty foods the night before and morning of the race.
Consume at least 600 grams of carbohydrate for 3-4 days prior to competition.
Warm up before the race with light running followed by stretching your calf, hamstring, quadricep, groin, and trunk muscles. If your muscles tighten or cramp during the run, stop and stretch. If that does not relieve cramps, stop at an aid or medical station.
Blisters can be prevented by wearing well-fitting, broken-in shoes, and soft lightweight socks. Remove pebbles immediately. Toenails should be trimmed. If you feel a hot spot developing, stop at an aid station for care. If a blister gets infected, it can be literally life threatening, so have blisters treated at an aid station.
Chafing occurs where clothing rubs against the skin. Prevent chafing by wearing loose-fitting clothes and applying petroleum jelly or protective bandaging to areas such as nipples, armpits, neckline, groin, and feet.

Fluid Replenishment
Know your own individual fluid replacement needs. You should ascertain how much fluid your body needs during your preparation for the race. Don’t become dehydrated. If you become thirsty, you are behind in fluid replenishment. Drink up to 16 ounces of fluid (preferably a sports drink containing sodium and electrolytes) 2 hours before the race. Water and Accelerade will be available at 3 aid stations on the course and at the finish.

Recognition of Physical Problems
While every runner will experience varying degrees of discomfort, significant changes in physical status should be recognized. If in doubt, stop to ask for advice. Race officials and course marshals are in radio and telephone contact with our medical team. Ambulances and roving bike teams are located on the course.

Symptoms of Heat Injury:
piloerection (hair on end or gooseflesh) on the chest or upper arms; chilling; headache or throbbing pressure; un-steadiness; vomiting or nausea; labored breathing; faintness; muscle cramps; excessive fatigue, excessive or lack of sweating; confusion/irritability; or lightheadedness. Do not continue with these symptoms, or you may collapse or become unconscious.

Symptoms of Overexertion:
nausea; vomiting; extreme breathlessness; dizziness; unusual fatigue; headache.

Injured Runners:
Injured runners will be transported either to the medical tent at the finish line or to UNC Hospital  (Emergency Room Number: (919) 966-4721) unless it is full. In that event, Emergency Responders will determine the closest available hospital. All runners are asked to help by reporting injuries or downed runners to medical personnel, course marshals or aid station personnel along the course.

To report a runner needing medical attention, call 919-907-1EMS  or  (919) 907-1367

Notice: Any race official has the authority to remove any runner whom he/she feels is at medical risk.