July 20, 2017

Race Fans Encouraged To Hydrate Early, Often During Brickyard Weekend

Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles (left) and Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows (right) talk to the media. - Doug Jaggers/WFYI

Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles (left) and Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows (right) talk to the media.

Doug Jaggers/WFYI

If you've been outside this week, you know Indianapolis is in the middle of a heat wave. And the streak of above average temperatures is expected to continue.

The forecast has Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials urging race fans attending the Brickyard 400 to take precautions against the heat.    

IMS Medical Director, Dr. Geoffrey Billows says it’s important to stay hydrated. Don't wait until you're thirsty to start drinking, and be prepared to drink 16 to 32 ounces of fluid per hour more if you're physically active. He also advises limiting the consumption of alcoholic drinks.

"We recommend that most of that fluid not be alcohol, because alcohol tends to cause you to become dehydrated," Billows says. "It is a diuretic and causes you to urinate."

It will also be important to try to stay as cool as possible. There are 80 permanent misting stations available throughout the facility and additional temporary misting stations will be set up in the Pagoda Plaza, the garage area and in the concert area of the infield.

There will also be cooling buses available in the vicinty of the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.

Billows says heat illness covers a broad spectrum. Symptoms can range from the benign, like fatigue and muscle cramps, all the way through heat stroke, seizures and coma.

"You don’t want to get to that end of the spectrum," he says. "As soon as you start feeling fatigued or hot, if you start to feel light headed, we need to get you out of the sun, into one of the shaded areas. Sit down. Get into one of the misting stations."

If that doesn't help, Billows says, get to the infield care center for treatment.

Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees Friday and Saturday. Sunday's forecast is for a high of 89. Add the humidity to the mix and the heat indices will be around 100 degrees each day. The heat will subside a little on Monday as temperatures return to the mid 80s.



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