I got the greatest opportunity to volunteer as part of the Medical Team for the Seattle Marathon! Seeing how happy some of these group of people were crossing the finish line made it very fun and reminded me the good ole’ days of cross country (: It was great being part of the environment, taking pictures for runners, and of course helping those who were struggling near the finish!
My shift was at 7:00am D; Talk about having to wake up super early to find parking, especially when there are going to be thousands of people running. Besides the marathon, there was also a half marathon that took place a bit earlier, which were most of the runners that I helped near the finish line. As I got to the event, I helped distribute medical supplies between the two recovery areas, the Main Tent and the Victory Recovery Area (VRA). My personal responsibility on the Medical Team was to be a “catcher.” I helped triage runners and decide weather or not it was necessary for them to go into the Medical Tent for musculoskeletal injuries (twisted ankles, cramps, etc.) or acute care (dizziness, heat stroke, passing out, decreased consciousness, etc.) or if runners have less important medical needs, such as needing ice, directing them to the VRA.
It is important to remind runners to keep “walking it off” after a big run. If they stop running and stand around, blood isn’t being pumped effectively back to their brain since they have stopped using their leg muscles. Many runners would stop to catch their breathe, but a little reminder to keep their legs moving and a pat on the back for finishing seemed to do the trick (:
I found that it was very important in reading the runners’ faces–to find any signs of distress and identify what their main needs were. There were some that threw up after running or just needed to take a breather. However, there were some runners who needed to be assisted with a wheelchair into the Main Tent due to collapsing, passing out, or were just unstable to walk themselves to the VRA.
I had a great time volunteering and would absolutely love doing it again next year! Great job runners!! Especially to those who I knew at the finish line and was able to congratulate them!! 😀
Here are some other pictures that I snapped during the very cold morning >,<
LOOK AT ALL THESE BANANAS FOR THE RUNNERS! I just thought it was a funny picture because..when do you ever see so many?!