Medical Staff Ready for Annual Assist

By Sarah Platt
BU News Service

Sisters Kim Binsfield and Sheila Sjosfelt prep medical supplies before the race. (Natalie Covate/BU News Service)
Sisters Kim Binsfield and Sheila Sjosfelt prep medical supplies before the race. (Natalie Covate/BU News Service)

After a marathon last year that forced runners into medical tents and out of the race due to high heat, this year’s runners and medical staff are looking forward to a more routine event.

The forecast for Monday’s race is cooler, and runners hope that will help their chances of finishing uninjured.

“No one wants to get injured during the race,” said Jacob Nurr, 55, who is running in the Boston Marathon this year.  “We all hope to run our best and come out of it with our bodies intact.”

Last year was a different story. Marathon runners faced high temperatures that forced some, like Jacob Owen to drop out of the race.

“It was so hot, I couldn’t finish it,” Owen said. “I thought I was having a heart attack or something. It was the only marathon so far that I couldn’t will my body to finish.”

This time the weather shouldn’t be as extreme.

“This year is pretty near the ideal condition for running,” Owen said. “There shouldn’t be any issues from the weather that the medical team has to worry about.”

Last year’s high temperatures forced an additional medical to be opened in order to accommodate the number of runners who needed medical attention.

According to the Boston Athletic Association, about 500 bags of ice, 4,000 Band-Aids and 500 tubes of petroleum jelly will be used on race day. The runners will be served by more than one thousand medical personnel.

“They are very good at what they do,” said Owen, who has run the Boston Marathon five times. “They plan very well, and take good care of the runners.”

There will be medical tents at the start of the race where runners can get “Band-Aids, Vaseline, a pre-race stretch or just a word of encouragement,” according to the Boston Athletic Association.

The Red Cross has also provided over 20 medical aid stations along the course for first aid needs.

Two teams will await runners at the finish line, providing any medical attention runners may need after completing the grueling 26.2 miles.

But the injuries from the race shouldn’t have anything to do with the weather.

“The wind will be a problem, but really injuries will probably be blisters, muscle strains or things like that,” said Nur, who has run marathons all over the U.S. “Nothing like the overheating that was seen last year.”

“We’ll be able to handle it, and hopefully nobody has too rough of a race. If not, then the medical team will take over, and they always do a great job.”

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