St John Ambulance Brigade of Ireland

Southern Command


First Aid at Cork City Marathon - June 2009 Print E-mail
Written by John O'Connell and Pat Rushe   
 The Cork City Division of St. John Amulance Brigade of Ireland is once again delighted to be a part of the 2009 Bórd Gáis Cork City Marathon, with this year’s event due to be held this coming Bank Holiday weekend. We aim to build on the success of previous years' operations. We are privileged to be working alongside our sister organisations The Red Cross, Civil Defence and Order Of Malta Ambulance Corps, in addition to the statutory services.

We welcome our colleagues from St John Amublance Dublin, who will be providing a number of well-stocked vehicles and the portable tents which will become the Marathon Medical Field Hospital. Opportunities to work with our Dublin counterparts are always a valued experience, and a large event such as a marathon is no different.

St. John Ambulance, Cork City, will be making full use of our resources. Our entire fleet of vehicles will be placed at strategic points around the marathon course, with foot patrols in between these points. In addition, two Cycle Responders will be operational  to respond to any incidents. A first-aid post will also be set up at our headquarters, which is situated adjacent to an important relay changeover point on the course.

St John Ambulance realise that running a marathon is no mean feat, and as such we will endeavour to provide the best emergency aid possible.

In the event of a Medical Emergency on Race Day:

  • Have someone ring 112 or 999 immediately. Be as specific as you can about the nature of the injury and your location. Try to tell the operator what mile mark you last passed or if there is a building you recognise near by.
  • If stewards are near by, get their attention.
  • Ensure that someone stays with the casualty until help arrives.
  • Under no circumstances should you try to carry another competitor. Ensure that the injured person stays on the course until help arrives and does not attempt to travel back into the city centre without medical attention.

We offer the following advice to competitors:

  • Fill in the form on the back of your race number. It is the first place a rescuer will look for information. It is critically important that all runners complete the form.
  • Never attempt to run a marathon unless you have properly trained for the event. You should regularly have been running over the past months. Attempting a marathon without proper training could result in injury, or even death. It is desirable for competitors to have completed a training run of in excess of 18 miles.
  • If you are on medication or have a medical condition, seek advice from your GP before the race.
  • If you have an upset stomach, diarrhoea, a cold, the flu or any other ailment on the morning of the race, our advice is not to start.
  • Wear sunscreen if necessary.
  • Get plenty of sleep in the week before the race and avoid strenuous exercise. Avoid alcohol.
  • Eat plenty of carbohydrates in the 24 hours before the race.
  • Wear comfortable trainers that are suitable for running. Do not wear a new pair of trainers on race day. Improper or damaged footwear is likely to cause injury.
  • Wear clothes that do not chaff. Preferably, use clothes that you are familiar running in.
  • On the morning of the event, give yourself enough time to stretch and warm up. The best routine to follow is the one you used during your longer training runs.
  • Water stops and energy drink stops are scattered along the course. It is extremely important not to become dehydrated or over hydrated. You should follow the same routine as you used during your training. We recommend a mix of water and energy drinks, as this balance will help maintain appropriate salt and sugar levels.
  • If you feel unusual or unfamiliar pain or discomfort during the course of the run, stop immediately and seek medical advice.

We hope that everyone has a brilliant day.

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