Marathon runner collapses near finish line
Paramedics laud efforts of quick-thinking bystanders, event volunteers
A runner is in serious condition after collapsing near the finish line of the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon.
After 10 a.m. on Sunday, paramedics rushed to Confederation Park after receiving a call about a fallen runner whose vital signs were reportedly absent, said Marc Tremblay, a spokesperson with the Hamilton Paramedic Service.
When EMS crews reached the scene, they found bystanders and volunteers performing first aid on the runner, believed to be in his 50s. Paramedics then discovered he had a pulse.
It’s always good to see citizens come forward and help somebody in need.—Marc Tremblay, Hamilton Paramedic Service
They transported the man — who was still unconscious, but was breathing on his own — to Hamilton General Hospital.
Tremblay praised event volunteers for how quickly they responded to the situation.
"A lot of people went to this man’s aid very quickly," he said. "It’s always good to see citizens come forward and help somebody in need."
Marathon spokesperson Arlene Wells said the man collapsed just before reaching the finish line, located behind the race’s medical tent.
She said organizers are concerned about the man’s well-being and hope the incident won’t cast a pall on the weekend.
“We do what we can to make sure that he’s looked after,” she said. “A lot of runners are affected and it’s traumatic for them, but we try to keep going as usual.”
Thousands of runners and their supporters participated in eighth annual Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon this weekend. In addition to the half and full marathon events that took place Sunday morning, the festivities featured 1-km, 5-km and 10-km races on Saturday.
Proceeds from the event go to a host of local charities, including CityKids, the Good Shepherd Centres, Ronald McDonald House and the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.