What goes into hospital readiness for the @bostonmarathon ? “What we do to plan for #MarathonMonday also helps us to prepare for other mass casualty incidents” explains Charlotte Roy, MPS-HS, CEM, Safety Officer & Emergency Management Coordinator at NWH. https://t.co/nzu69qGUJF
— Newton-Wellesley Hospital (@newtonwellesley) April 17, 2018
The Boston Marathon’s team of doctors, nurses and related medical personnel were extremely busy yesterday, as runners dealing with more than the usual discomforts associated with running a marathon poured in.
According to the Boston Globe, 25 elites needed medical attention, 81 people were taken to hospital, and more than 2,500 runners were treated in the medical tent at the finish line. A team of 1,800 medical volunteers assisted runners at various points along the course.
As runners together complete the 26.2-mile @bostonmarathon today, a logistical feat is also happening behind-the-scenes. All hands are on deck at @newtonwellesley's 16-mile mark to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved in #MarathonMonday. More: https://t.co/VlEZueUYUq pic.twitter.com/0zamsNRIzb
— Partners HealthCare (@PartnersNews) April 16, 2018
The main problem was hypothermia, with many runners inadequately prepared for freezing temperatures brought about by strong gusting headwinds. A number of hotel rooms near the finish line, reserved for cold runners to warm up, were quickly filled, and the Boston Globe reported on a church in Wellesley, Mass. (about halfway along the route) opening the doors of its spiritual centre for runners to warm up next to a blazing fire. The story implied that most did not venture back out onto the course.
The last time Boston experienced conditions this extreme on Patriots’ Day was 2007. One woman quoted in the Globe article suggested that 2007 was worse.
We spoke to Donna Friedrich of Lakefield, Ont. and Rhonda Johnson of Toronto, both of who completed the race for the fifth time on Monday. They reported feeling “stiff, but happy” and said it was the worst weather they have ever experienced, either during a race or during a training run – and that includes 2007, which was Friedrich’s first time running Boston.
“In 2007, the worst of the storm was over by the time my wave started,” Friedrich says. “This year was different. It was cold as well as wet, and the sideways rain did not let up.” Neither has ever sought medical help during the race, which is all the more astonishing considering that Friedrich pulled a back muscle in February, preventing her from training for three or four weeks. They report seeing people in wheelchairs at the finish line, shivering (referring not to wheelchair racers but to exhausted runners). They also described being cold and wet well before the race started, since shelter is scarce. “We had Hot Paws in our gloves, which were fine until they got wet.”