Hi Race Guards,

 my name is Mike Rusch and this is my Race Guards story. I’m 81 years old and run about 35 miles per week, including 3 or 4 half-marathon races a year. I live in Las Vegas but came to San Diego on 11/11/18 for the Silver Strand half because I did the race in 2001 and love the venue and because I wanted to see if I could run a half in 2:30 or better. I was injury free and full of confidence, having run a good half on a difficult course in Las Vegas just 8 weeks earlier. All my preparation went like clockwork and the weather Sunday morning was perfect. Everything went according to schedule up to mile 9.8. My speed was averaging 5.16 mph, not ideal, but well within range of my goal. Then the wheels fell off. My balance began to desert me and my speed dropped quickly. Finally, rounding a corner at mile 10.85, I fell. A guy in a red, white and blue shirt with something like National Guard printed on it helped me to my feet and got me started again. I was getting more and more unsteady, leaning far to my right until, at about mile 12 the National Guard guy offered to help me remain vertical. I accepted, and finally finished under my own power, but assisted by a young man and a young woman, in 2:38:30. They didn't leave my side until I was safely inside the medical tent at the finish line. It was only then that I realized the shirt said Race Guards and my angels of mercy were Scott and Lea(h?).

Thank you, Race Guards, for helping me finish my race. I would probably not recommend a race just because Race Guards were there, but, all else being equal, Race Guards would definitely tip the balance, especially for seniors who might feel uneasy about being safe on the course.

I’m currently finishing a 300,000 word Kindle e-book about running for seniors and my Race Guards experience is now well documented there with a strong recommendation for my readers. You don’t have to reveal last names if you’d rather not, but I’d at least like to confirm the correct spelling of Scott and Lea(h)’s first names. Thanks again. I hope my donation helps you continue this valuable effort.
Mike Rusch - Race Participant

Race Guards rock! I broke down at Mile 1(!) at Mammoth since I didn't realize the altitude would kick me in the a** so bad, but your team (I think Laura was one) calmed me down, distracted me by taking gorgeous scenic pics of hubby and me at Lake Mary, and I found a way to finish to get my SD-Mammoth Challenge medals. THANK YOU!!
Ina Deras - Race Participant

Last weekend I was a part of the Race Guard Group that did the Biggest Loser 5K/15K and have to say it was one of the most memorable races I've seen.
Tracy Kilvinger, Race Guard. Please click here to see this story.

I loved that there were medical personnel running with packs. Made me feel a lot safer.
Terrill Bowers Gallup, Race Participant

Volunteers made this a great run! Especially appreciative of the crew that checked on us throughout the run. A gentleman brought me an electrolyte pack when I had a side ache. Got me through the last 3 miles, thank you!
Rebeca Ruby, Race Participant

I just wanted to say thank you for being there. One your angels helped me through the last few miles of the race. I know that she loves dogs. I think her name is Laura. She had long dark brown hair. She was amazing. I got a better time than I thought. One day I hope to volunteer for your guys.
Leahann Jones

Thanks so much Janice and Andy! You guys ROCKED in putting another great Race Guards event together! This was by far the busiest RG event I had.  I passed out more salt/gu/biofreeze than ever. Massaged and helped folks stretch out dozens of times, and even had a few transports via ambulance along the course.  This was all before the medical tent at the finish started blowing up! The RGs all worked together fantastically - and truly had a positive impact on the morale (and safety) of the participants! I really look forward to continuing to be a part of such a stellar group.
Brandon, Las Vegas Race Guard

"Race Guards is the most amazing organization! The Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon thankfully used Race Guards to help runners throughout the course. When I injured my knee after mile 10 and could not run any longer, I had already passed the medical tent, but Race Guards immediately found and helped me.

After I was treated, one special Race Guard stayed by my side so I was able to cross the finish line for my first half marathon. Race Guards were everywhere throughout the entire run making the event feel professional, safe and fun!"

Tessie Wissel, Race Participant

"Race Guards are the most innovative group I have seen in years, and we intend to utilize them in the entire Rock 'n' Roll Series.  Their ability to provide 'eyes on the course', is a tremendous asset in helping me to care for over half-a-million athletes each year."

P.Z. Pearce, MD, National Medical Director, Competitor Group

"As a race director, and ultimately responsible for taking care of thousands of people at an event, it's beneficial to have as many eyes watching athletes at the event as possible. Race Guards provides another layer of medical supervision within the packs of runners. Having Race Guards augments any medical plan for large or small scale events." 

Brennan Lindner, Race Director, Generic Events

"As an endurance athlete and as a licensed EMT, Race Guards combines two of my passions.  I enjoy helping athletes have the best race experience possible.  I like being there to help them make sure they get the medical attention they need ASAP and give them a confident and compassionate face to help them in a time of distress."

Michael Buxton, EMT, San Diego Race Guards

"I truly enjoy being a part of Race Guard and supporting the Athletes, Medical & Volunteer staff.  I have been participating as an athlete in endurance events for over 15 yrs and I know how important it is to receive aid on the race course.   With Race Guards, I have aided athletes from a 10yr old boy with asthma to a 65 yr old female first-time marathoner.   I can't quite express enough how fulfilling it has been to provide aid, comfort & encouragement to the athletes as they make their way to the finish line."

Steve Hlaveck, San Diego Race Guards

"I am part of Race Guards because it gives me a sense of accomplishment, being able to physically help or just encourage other runners as we've all been there and understand the pain and suffering."

Alick Lau, San Diego Race Guards

"I am part of Race Guards because it is a great organization that connects experienced runners and triathletes who are certified in first aid and have additional health care knowledge with racers (often first-time racers) who need help where and when they need it!  It is amazing how many people don't seek out the first tents on the course but really benefit from some help.  I am addicted to Race Guards because it involves two of my favorite things – helping people and running.  What could be better?"

Dr. Dana Ryan, San Diego Race Guards

"Being a part of Race Guards was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my life.  I cannot wait to be a Race Guard at future events".

Nicole Framarin, Chicago Race Guards

"There is no greater feeling in the world then having some body come up to you atthe end and say 'thank you, I needed that'. Race Guards have the tools to make the run as comfortable as possible, from gels, water, band-aids, and wraps, we can take care of the small nagging issues and keep the runner moving.  The training in first aid, CPR and AED are the main focus.  We can respond quickly on the course to any major medical issue.  As we all know, minutes make a difference."

T.J. Trevino, San Diego Race Guards