Comrades 2019: Medical Stats By The Numbers
With 19,103 Comrades Marathon runners on the start line on Sunday, 9th June 2019, and 16,439 finishers, the Comrades Marathon’s Medical portfolio had another busy day on their hands.
595 runners received medical treatment at the Finish Venue Medical Facility at the Scottsville Racecourse. Of these, 442 were attended to at the main Medical Tent while 153 runners received R&R, rubdowns, strapping, massage and mild treatment at the St. John’s Tent.
69 patients were treated in hospital; of those, 12 were referred from the Medical Tent at the Finish whilst the rest were taken directly from the route. Seven patients were admitted into ICU and three into High Care. They have all since been discharged.
The CMA has over the years, implemented extensive medical, emergency, first aid and physiotherapy provisions for its thousands of participants. Provided by Netcare 911 and Ampath Laboratories, these much-needed medical amenities were made available at strategic positions along the route and at the Finish Venue.
This comprised of eight physiotherapy stations, a fleet of ambulances, several rapid response vehicles, a team of paramedics, a dedicated emergency helicopter, a 3-bed fully equipped ICU-type resuscitation area; a critical care emergency facility on the Finish Line and the St. John’s Ambulance Tent.
Dr Boulter says, ‘The Comrades Marathon is a tough race. The aim of our extensive medical provisions is to allow us to help a runner in just about any medical eventuality should the need arise.’
He adds, ‘The majority of the runners who were attended to at the Medical Tent were dehydrated and exhausted. Although these are fairly minor symptoms, our medical staff had another busy Comrades Race Day on their hands but all within their grasp.’
The Comrades Medical Facility has been described as the largest temporary medical facility outside of a conflict or disaster zone, anywhere in the world.
Dr Jeremy Boulter has served as a volunteer on the Comrades Medical Portfolio for more than 4 decades.