Pittsburgh Marathon Medical Team Treats 166 During Big Race



By Chuck Finder and Tim Betler

More than 500 health-care professionals, the majority of them from UPMC, donated their time to assist the 30,000 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon runners through 16 aid stations along the course and the field hospital at the finish line – where Aaron Mares, M.D., of UPMC Sports Medicine directs a tour in the above video.

This Pittsburgh Marathon medical team, sponsored by UPMC Sports Medicine and UPMC Emergency Medicine, treated a total of 166 runners Sunday (89 at the finish line medical tent and 77 at the medical aid stations along the course). A total of 26 runners were transported to local hospitals, and another runner later reported to a hospital seeking treatment.

The medical team, directed by race medical director Ron Roth, M.D.,  and Kathleen Nachazel,  includes volunteers like them who have been serving the marathon since its 1985 inaugural race. So the team knows to expect to treat between 1 to 3 percent of the runners – and that’s precisely where this year’s ratio fell. Roughly 40 percent of those injured runners Sunday were treated for musculoskeletal issues (such as cramps and strains) and 30 percent for fatigue after marathon, half-marathon and relay races that were competed under the green flag, representing good conditions.

For comparison’s sake, the 2013 races totaled 126 runners treated and 28 hospital transports and the 2012 races – under sunnier, warmer conditions -- some 365 runners treated and 60 hospital transports.

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