Monday, March 25, 2013

The 2013 Around the Bay Medic Tent...

I pushed as hard as I could at the end of this year's Around the Bay 30K road race. I was originally shooting for a 2:30 finish, and ended up at 2:30:09. For the last 400 m., I sprinted -- or at least I felt like I was sprinting. I had nothing left. So when coach/pacer Brian Watson came up after crossing the finish line and said "Nice finish, buddy!", I just leaned on his shoulder. Next thing I knew, a finish line helper came and held me up on the other side. Then someone came up to Brian and said, "Okay, we'll take him from here." They took me over to a wheelchair, which I must admit, looked really inviting! I told them that I was okay -- I was just tired -- but they insisted on taking me to the medic area. Not a "medic tent", as they had in Boston, but rather a first-aid room that they had for hockey players at Copps Coliseum. I thought to myself that I would do the medic tent at Boston again -- it was quite a pleasant experience -- so why not give this one a try!

They had me sit on a cot and brought me some gatorade, and then a bottle of water. I was one of their first guests, it looked like. One younger (Ethiopian/Kenyan?) runner was on a cot with a blanket. A girl came in shortly after me who didn't look very good.

Within a few minutes I was fine. I asked if I could go and they said that was okay. No sign-out procedure. I just wandered back to the finishing pen and collected another bottle of water.

Having visited multiple medic tents and ambulances in my time, this one was fairly informal -- certainly compared to Boston, where they had about 100 cots ready to accept people and several hundred volunteers including nurses and doctors.

In Boston, they brought me a cup of bouillon soup -- 3 cubes in a cup -- just to get salt into me. And a small bag of potato chips -- again, to get some salt. Here, it was Gatorade. Probably the same effect, but my sense is that the heavily-salted bouillon may have been better.

In Boston, they brought me a mylar blanket to keep me warm. In Hamilton, they offered me a wool blanket a couple of times, but I declined -- I was already quite warm enough, now that I was indoors. But a nice touch having a _real_ blanket offered.

In Boston, they had paperwork to check people in and out -- and a doctor had to clear me leaving. Here it was quite informal. No paperwork, which was nice.

There was one runner with the New Balance London bus who had to be taken to hospital. Someone with the Around the Bay organization came over to the buses located near the start line to track down Tracy Hillman, who was the bus organizer with New Balance to let her know. I thought that was a nice touch for them to go to that effort to track people down. Might not hurt next time to have us put a couple of "in case of emergency" numbers on the back of our bibs, including someone with our bus.

So, yet another "medic tent" experience in the books! :-)

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