When I tell people I have started and completed 8 marathons they usually stare at me quizzically or just laugh out loud. But its true and somewhere in the boxes my wife made me store up in our attic along with my Little League baseball and soccer trophies, I have the medals to prove it.
After a period of time away from the sport (that period includes all of George W. Bush’s second term and half of Barack Obama’s current one), I am getting back into it. Maybe I won’t do any more marathons, but I am already doing more recreational running and have some 5k and 10k’s on the calendar for the spring and summer.
When I was doing marathons, it always brought me a great deal of comfort seeing doctors and other members of the medical team along the race course. Thank goodness I never needed their physical help. But in many cases their shouts of encouragement and thumbs up gave me the confidence to trudge on knowing that even if I felt like I was going to fall over, a trained set of eyes had given me a once over and decided I didn’t need to be pulled from the course and taken to an ambulance. Other of my fellow runners didn’t fare as well but the well-trained medical teams were always there to provide on the spot care and transport the runner to the hospital if the situation required it.
So now I urge you good physician readers of this blog to do your duty and find a marathon or other race in your area and volunteer to be a member of the medical team. As if there weren’t enough specialty and sub-specialty medical societies out there, I found one for doctors that specialize in providing care at road races.
So c’mon doctors! We back of the pack runners need you on race day! It’s not enough to just tell us to exercise more and try to lose some weight when we sit in your examining room, when we actually get out there and try to do it, we need your support then too. I guaranty you will have a lot of fun and maybe be inspired to take up running if you don’t do it already.