MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of runners braved the heat on Saturday, June 11th for the 6th annual Rock 'n Sole Run held on Milwaukee's lakefront.
Nearly 8,000 runners enjoyed their first taste of the Summerfest celebration.
"We always have fun with Rock 'n Sole Summerfest," said Debi Henrichs, runner.
Among the excitement was concern as the extreme heat was on everyone's mind.
"We emailed people as late as last night reminding them to hydrate, keep aware of their body, keep aware of their race. It's not a day for your personal record given the heat, we just want everyone to have a safe, great day," said Sara Peronto, Summerfest.
Many runners appreciated the reminder. Lucas Walzak began seriously hydrating two days in advance.
"A lot of water, some Gatorade. I cut back my soda intake by quite a bit," said Nathan Routhier, runner.
Routhier was the first place finisher for the half marathon -- completing the race in just one hour and 14 minutes.
"A little tired, like I said it's really hot out," said Routhier.
Routhier says you could tell event staff made sure all runners were safe on the course.
"There was a lot of water. I think they stepped it up quite a bit, they had little misters going which as really nice, that felt great," said Routhier.
In addition, ice chips were provided along the route, wet towels for the half marathoners, and medical staff were on hand to assist runners.
As the minutes ticked on, the temperature rose -- with a heat index nearing 80° by 9:00 a.m.
The race went into "Red Flag Status," which means the timing of the race stopped in an effort to keep runners safe.
"The last couple of miles was super hot, the sun was out. There were no clouds, it was super hot but you know I do appreciate that it's safer for the runners," said Henrichs.
There was also a children's race scheduled. Due to the extreme heat, they cut the one-mile course down significantly to keep everyone safe.
Summerfest kicks off in 18 short days with the opening act taking the stage on Wednesday, June 29th.