Mental barriers were broken and victories were realized as the Chicago Marathon came to an end Sunday, unfortunately, some runners suffered serious injuries, including one who was reportedly in critical condition. After months of training, runners from all over the world came together to put themselves to the test. Nearly 45,000 runners hit the pavement to participate in this year’s marathon, sponsored by Bank of America.
The Chicago Marathon is one of the largest, most exciting marathons in the world. With over 1.7 million spectators lining the 26.2 mile course, the energy was high and the support was strong to cheer on their family and friends. While thousands of participants were able to cross the finish line and celebrate the accomplishment of their victory, hundreds of others were in need of medical care, hospitalization, and even CPR. The behind-the-scenes reality of such high level of physical exertion is rarely seen and, therefore, people are often unaware of the potential side effects.
A 59-year-old male participant in the Chicago Marathon was admitted into the hospital late Sunday night and is in critical condition after collapsing during the race. Prior to being taken to the hospital, the runner reportedly received CPR. He was stricken during the latter part of the race and immediately transported to Mercy Hospital. The medical director for the race, Dr. George Chiampas, said that he was one of two runners requiring CPR during the race.
The other runner was a 29-year-old man who had to be resuscitated after falling ill around the seventh mile marker. Chiampas reported that, prior to medical personnel arriving, another runner began performing CPR on the man. After the incident, he was reportedly stable and able to communicate with staff at the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. In total, Chiampas reported that over 800 runners required medical attention and 24 of the Chicago Marathon participants were transported to local hospitals.
The marathon, which kicked off at 730 a.m. on Sunday morning, brought together runners from across the United States and 150 countries around the world. High security measures were taken for the race including shutting down Grant Park early Saturday night for a full security sweep. The streets running along the park were closed between Michigan and Lakeshore Drive and on race day, only runners were allowed inside the park. No bags were permitted inside unless they were the clear, plastic bags which were provided to the runners.
The effects on the body when participating in a race as strenuous as the Chicago Marathon, can vary based on many factors and training officials for this specific race suggest several things a runner can do to maintain an optimal running experience. Carrying food at all times and preparatory measures during the days prior to the race such as preparing a sufficient carry-on bag for the flight which is packed with resources such as band aids, nutritional products, and skin treating ointment ranked among the most important things to remember.
The work one must go through in order to participate in the Chicago Marathon, pales in comparison to the feeling of accomplishment a runner can obtain in the end and it is critical to keep preparations in perspective as they prepare for the race. Hearts go out to those who were hurt during the race and as the years go on, organizers will find ways to create an increasingly secure environment for race participants.
by Bridgette Bryant