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Staying Sun-Safe during the Two Cities Marathon

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Runner in action at autumn under sunlight.

Knees, ankles and toes… you’re already pushing your limits. Give your eyes, face and ears a leg up.

The Two Cities marathon will take place on November 5, 2017, welcoming runners to pound the pavement for a good cause. Proceeds benefit local charitable organizations such as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Children’s Hospital Central California, Community Medical Centers, and Sierra Challenge Express Scholarship Fund.

The marathon stretches from Clovis to Fresno, totaling 26.2 miles. This also means participants will be exposed to the ever-shining Central Valley sun and its potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

What is ultraviolet light?

There are two types of UV light: UV-A and UV-B, both of which can damage your eyes, affecting different parts of its anatomy. Prolonged exposure to UV-A light can damage the macula in the rear of your eye, and UV-B exposure can cause problems in the front of the eye, within the cornea and lens. Here are some tips that can protect you from potential long-term UV damage—whether you’re a marathon runner, volunteer, or finish-line cheerleader.

Sunglass protection

A good rule of thumb when considering sunglasses for protection: find lenses that filter 99 to 100% of the sun’s harmful rays. If you can locate a label indicating “UV absorption up to 400nm,” you can rest assured that it is in the recommended protection range.

Heads up protection

Did you know the bottom lip is a common skin cancer location? You can find lip balm with UV protection in it. You already have your eyes and lips covered, but it might also be time to apply additional sunblock to the tips of your ears, another part of the body notorious for burns. If the top of your head is exposed, it’s worth it to wear some additional protective gear. Hats off to you for running. Hats on for the run (literally).

Body protection

Your head warrants the most protection as it has the most sensitive areas. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the rest of your body.

There is a variety of gear engineered to provide protection against the sun. Sleeves, hats, and jackets can protect from exposure to damaging rays, and at the least, protect against painful sunburns.

If you don’t know the clothing you are going to wear will protect you, try holding it up to the sunlight. If light doesn’t shine through, you are more likely to be protected, even if the label doesn’t indicate its protection rating.

We are thankful and humbled to sponsor the Two Cities Marathon. We wish the best of luck to all of the participants who will push their bodies to raise money and awareness, potentially saving the life of others.

In light of sun protection, (pun intended) our optical department is giving away a pair of Oakley sunglasses! You can enter to win at this link. 


May you have a successful and safe marathon!