36,000 participants and the risks involved
Participants should prepare properly
2001-09-01The organizers of the biggest German road race, the real,- BERLIN MARATHON announced that its medical service has been further improved. This announcement was made at a press conference by the organizers of the race, in which a record 36,000 competitors are participating this year. In last years race there were two fatalities.
"So far as medical preparations and training are concerned, we hold plenty of events covering both fields during the year, and we e absolutely sure weve done all that we can," said race director Horst Milde. "At the moment theres a running craze, but we really do have to remind runners that they need to be fit if theyve decided to start in the race." Because the limit on the total number of participants in the real,- BERLIN MARATHON was reached several weeks ago, no further entries have been accepted since then.
"We have to try to make sure that only fit people start, but we can never be one hundred per cent certain," said Willi Heepe, the senior doctor of the events medical team. On the pre-race days when the bibs are being handed out, the organizers are offering an even more comprehensive medical service. Medical services on the day itself have been further optimised. "The size of a field of 30,000 runners is comparable with that of a small town. Just on the basis of normal mortality figures, you have to expect some fatalities. In large marathons like this, there is usually one fatality every three or four years. Its the same in all the big marathons worldwide," he added. In the last 20 years there have been altogether four deaths in the BERLIN MARATHON. Because people who start in spite of having an infection or an undetected cardio-vascular condition are at risk, he recommends that all runners have a thorough medical check-up.
Willi Heepe is worried about the inline skaters, too. "A lot of them skate too recklessly and can brake properly. If there were a real accident at the start, it would be worse than a car accident." He appeals to the inline skaters to behave responsibly.
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