On The Run: Volunteer group seeks runners who can also provide medical treatment

 

On The Run, by Jay Kumar

Large road races do a good job of having medical professionals available to treat injured runners, but a group hopes to provide even more immediate care by having runners themselves available to help those in distress.

Race Guards was founded in 2012 in San Diego and now has more than 800 volunteers serving on teams throughout the U.S. Janice Penrose, president of Race Guards, says the group has focused its efforts on a putting together a team in the Boston area.

“With Boston’s incredible running and racing community, Race Guards is looking forward to developing a large team of Race Guards in the Boston area to support running and endurance events throughout the market,” says Penrose. “Once we develop a large team in a market, we then begin expanding the number of races we are able to support.”

Brett Grieco of Danvers is leading the effort to establish a Boston Race Guards team, with the goal of helping with the Run to Remember Half Marathon and 5-Mile Race in Boston on Sunday, May 28.

Penrose says Race Guards actually participate in the events themselves, but are available to spring into action if an emergency occurs.

“Our Race Guards are endurance athletes and medical professionals looking for a way to give back to the sport,” she says. “Every team member is certified in First Aid, CPR and AED. For new team members, we also provide certification courses.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Race Guard should visit raceguards.org to learn more and fill out an application. Volunteers get to join the races for free, but are expected to aid their fellow runners if need be.

“Race Guards is the only company in the country providing in-race first aid and support,” Penrose notes. “Our team of volunteers runs the course from start to finish providing first aid and medical support. We are on the course to help runners with cramping, dehydration, blisters and other race-related issues. We carry first aid supplies and AEDs on course and our team can spot issues quickly as we are running with the participants. Race Guards is sponsored by 3M brands ACE, Futuro and Nexcare and we carry their supplies with us.”

Penrose says at any given event, Race Guards will treat hundreds of athletes who need assistance on the course.

“Race Guards will see a variety of issues on race day,” she says. “Our most challenging days on the race course come with extreme weather, heat or cold. Often runners are not prepared for the weather, and the number of people we treat can skyrocket. We are prepared to help in all situations, and as Race Guards grows across the country, runners recognize our branded team on the course and know that we are there to help. They seek us out, but we are also able to see and respond to issues very quickly as we are running with the participants.”

Race Guard volunteers don’t need to be exceptionally fast to join. They need to be in good enough shape to handle the race, but runners are needed in a variety of speeds, ages and sizes to support runners at the front, middle or back of the race. According to the Race Guards website, there are typically between six and 25 Race Guards at its events. They are guaranteed three races per year, but volunteers may be able to do more.

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Starts and stops: The fourth annual Rocky Neck 5K Run/Walk and Team Challenge is scheduled for Sunday, May 7 at Rocky Neck Park. Participation in the race is capped at 400. Registration includes a ticket to the Studio Restaurant celebratory buffet brunch after the race. Visit http://rockyneck5k.com/ for more information.

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The inaugural Griffin’s Gift 5K will take place on Monday, July 3 at 10 a.m. to celebrate the late Griffin Lamar’s 3rd birthday with a family-friendly 5K run and walk. The event will start and finish at Danvers High School, 60 Cabot Road, Danvers. All net proceeds from the event will go to Griffin’s Gift, a nonprofit charity dedicated to helping potential adoptive families with the initial financial burden of the adoption process. Visit https://risingreg.com/griffins-gift-5k/ for more information.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

Upcoming races

UPCOMING RACES

Friday, May 5: The 28th annual Evelyn’s Run for the Roses 5K Women’s Road Race, the Winner’s Circle, 211 Elm St., Salisbury, 6:30 p.m. Profits and donations from the race benefit the Jeanne Geiger Women’s Crisis Center in Newburyport and gene therapy and research through Cure CMT4J. Visit http://runthecircle.org/wordpress/racing/wcrc-races/roses-5k/ for more information.

Saturday, May 6: The 5th annual NECC Campus Classic 5K and Fun Run, Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott St., Haverhill. The fun run starts at 9 a.m. and the 5K begins at 10. Visit www.necc.mass.edu/campus-classic/ for more information.

Sunday, May 7: Step Up for Colleen 5K, Andover Central Park, Bartlet Street, Andover, 9 a.m. (opening ceremony at 8:45). Net proceeds will benefit the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to Andover and Danvers High School seniors who demonstrate a passion for teaching. Visit www.stepupforcolleen.com/ for more information.

Tuesday, May 9: The Bent Water Thunder Squad Weekly Running Club, Bent Water Brewing Taproom, 180 Commercial St., Unit 18, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. A free weekly 3.2-mile run from the taproom to the beach led by local runner Angel Dee. Runners who complete seven runs receive a Bent Water t-shirt.

Wednesday, May 10: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Osborn Tavern, 49 Maple St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com; Meters for Liters, Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St., Salem, 6:30 p.m. Free group 5K run from the brewery. Beer and pretzels provided to runners after the run. Runners who complete 10 runs (aka 50,000 meters) will receive Notch swag.

Saturday, May 13: The 3rd annual Spring for the Trails Half Marathon, Willowdale State Forest, Ipswich, 8 a.m. Part of the 2017 New England Running Company All-Terrain Race Series. Visit http://ecta27.camp7.org/event-2435751 for more information; The Yukan Fast Half Marathon, Hamilton-Wenham High School, 775 Bay Road, South Hamilton, 9 a.m. Visit www.yukanrun.com/Fast-Half.html for more information; The 9th annual Dan Ford Road Race, Fireside Restaurant and Pub, 171 Pelham St., Methuen, 11 a.m. Visit www.danfordroadrace.com/ for more information.

Tuesday, May 16: The Bent Water Thunder Squad Weekly Running Club, Bent Water Brewing Taproom, 180 Commercial St., Unit 18, Lynn, 6:30 p.m. A free weekly 3.2-mile run from the taproom to the beach led by local runner Angel Dee. Runners who complete seven runs receive a Bent Water t-shirt.

Wednesday, May 17: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Osborn Tavern, 49 Maple St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com; Meters for Liters, Notch Brewing, 283R Derby St., Salem, 6:30 p.m. Free group 5K run from the brewery. Beer and pretzels provided to runners after the run. Runners who complete 10 runs (aka 50,000 meters) will receive Notch swag.

Thursday, May 18: The 30th annual Backshore 5-Mile Road Race, Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, 6:30 p.m. Part of the YMCA of the North Shore 2017 Road Race Series. Visit http://northshoreroadraceguide.com/event/backshore-5-mile-road-race/?instance_id=983 for more information.

Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.