Posts tagged ‘marathon’

February 7, 2011

SF Kaiser half-marathon runner dies near finish

by Accidental Bear

Dr. Honey Bear

A few years back an article caught my attention about HOW BAD training for a marathon is, let alone the race itself. The strain , wear and tear on the body is comparable to a heart attack or mild stroke. Apparently running marathons isn’t such a good idea.





A runner collapsed near the finish line of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon in Golden Gate Park on Sunday and died despite efforts of bystanders and race participants to revive him, witnesses said.

A Fire Department dispatcher confirmed the death of an adult male at the race, but additional information about the man was not immediately available.

Witnesses described a slow and confused response by race officials when the man first collapsed on an unseasonably warm day that hit 80 degrees. Two witnesses said it took about 20 minutes from that point before paramedics arrived.

The San Francisco medical examiner could not be reached, and calls and e-mails on Sunday to Kaiser Permanente and RhodyCo Productions, the company that produced the race, were not immediately returned.

“In an event that size with that staff, it’s ridiculous to take that long to have paramedics arrive,” said Neil Fraser, head coach and co-owner of a triathlon and sports training company who was at the finish line waiting for some of his athletes when the man collapsed.

Sunday’s race marked the 28th running of the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run, and the event was sold out with 10,000 participants, the race website said.

When the runner collapsed, someone pointed it out to the announcer at the finish line, who called over the loudspeaker for medical staff, witnesses said. But it took repeated calls before any staff arrived, and ultimately runners and spectators began performing CPR, witnesses said.

“Finally a woman came up and started yelling at (the announcer), ‘You need to start pleading for anyone to help. We need a doctor,’ ” said Kwesi Graves, 29, of Noe Valley, who had been at the finish line waiting for his wife. “You would think with a half marathon and a sunny day, they would have some medical staff there, but there just was no one around.”

Just moments after the man collapsed at the finish line near the western edge of the park, Graves said, the announcer also called for medical help for two other runners farther up the course, which ran through Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway.

Fraser, 41, said it was baffling that it was “a medically supported sporting event, and they didn’t even have a doctor on staff” at the finish.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but even at the small events there’s an ambulance at the finish line,” Fraser said. “I don’t know where they were (today).”

Race producer RhodyCo says on its website that is has produced more than 390 major events with 1.4 million participants in its first 27 years.

Once paramedics were called, Fraser said, the crew drove by, then returned later. A fire dispatcher said they were alternately given three different locations for the incident.

“You want to give someone a fair chance to live,” Graves said. “Who knows? If there was medical staff right there at the finish line …”

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Apparently running marathons isn’t such a good idea <READ ARTICLE>

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