By Dr. Mark Westfall, Fox Cities Marathon Medical Director
This year’s Boston Marathon, held on April 16, was cold, rainy and windy – horrible conditions actually! Winter blizzard Evelyn turned into rain and wind by the time it hit the East coast – far from ideal conditions for running a marathon.
The race day weather was extremely challenging and contributed to a high number of medical visits. The Boston Marathon medical team had to be ready for cases of hyperthermia and hypothermia – along with the common issues of dehydration and cardiac concerns.
As we look for ways to improve the safety and security aspect of the Community First Fox Cities Marathon Presented by Miron Construction, it’s very helpful to learn from the biggest and the best races in the country. Although the Boston Marathon takes place on a larger scale, many of the same concepts can be applied to the Fox Cities Marathon.
My wife and I had the opportunity to volunteer in the pre-race bus loading area prior to the start of this year’s Boston Marathon. Participants were in generally good spirits and tried their best to stay as dry as possible. All participants were required to go through security prior to getting on the buses and no family or friends were allowed in the loading area.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Boston Marathon race day is that its long-time race director, Dave McGillivry, runs the Boston Marathon course after all of the participants have finished and gone home – this was his 40th year doing this. This was a very positive and motivating experience – and I already look forward to the 2018 Fox Cities Marathon!
We at the Fox Cities Marathon will continue to work towards providing a safe, secure and enjoyable event each September. I can assure you that the Fox Cities Marathon already takes many of the same security measures that are seen at larger-scale events, and continually look for more ways to improve.