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Eugene Marathon: Elite runners should check on the allergy medicine they use

A drug screening means elite runners may not be able to take certain allergy medications.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 6:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene Marathon is just days away and the area is seeing pollen counts that are off the charts. This is hard enough for residents who are prepared to fight the symptoms, but many people come from out of town for the annual race, and they might not be so prepared.

The obvious answer is to grab an allergy remedy that you prefer and begin using it. However, if you’re an elite competitor in Sunday’s marathon, this might not be an option for you.

A small percentage of participants are subject to drug screenings. For those runners, certain allergy medications won’t be allowed. They’ll need to look at the US Anti-Doping rules to know for sure.

But for all other competitors, there are no restrictions. Organizers just asked that you consult with your doctor so that you know how a medication will affect you during the race.

"For the vast majority of our participants, we would say that they just need to consult with their physician," said Ian Dobson, the assistant race director. "We have no bearing on what they take or don't take during the race, before the race, after the race. It's really their own judgment."

Stormtracker 9 Meteorologists are predicting that the recent rain will drown out some of this pollen count. This is great for those allergy symptoms, but not so great for race logistics.

Organizers said they are prepared for severe weather, but a specific plan would be assessed depending on the exact situation. This means you’ll want to be receiving the most up-to-date information. Staff recommends downloading their app for the best communication.

"But we're really encouraging all of our runners to download the Active Experience app and allow notifications so that we can send important updates about the finish line or the finish festival to our participants during the race," said Justin Hanes, the charity and event coordinator.

Other good routes for communication include their website and social media.

Organizers said they’re excited about this event and believe it’s a very special time of year for Eugene.

"I think the Eugene Marathon is a fantastic event," Hanes said. "It draws people from all over the world to come and experience the magic of historic Hayward Field, and just the Eugene community in general I think is a really great place."

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