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CANADA: Two Marathon Participants Suffer Cardiac Arrest

Two runners at Sunday’s half-marathon in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, suffered cardiac arrest at the finish line.

Emergency medical personnel administered CPR to the runners, and event organizers said both were resuscitated on-site before going to a hospital.

“Once their condition was stabilized and under control, they left the clinic and were transported to a regional hospital where they are being monitored,” an event spokesperson told CTV News.

CTV News reports:

Cardiorespiratory arrest, or cardiopulmonary arrest, occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, halting oxygen delivery to the organs.

“The team we hired is very experienced,” said Alex Ratthe, executive producer for the event. “We are nervous, they are not, so that’s a good sign.”

He told CTV News medical emergencies are rare in marathons, but not unheard of — adding about one out of 80,000 runners will suffer a cardiac arrest during a marathon.

“Compared with the risk of running one marathon, the annual risk of premature death is estimated to be 120 times higher during general living,” reads a 2010 study on cardiac arrests during marathons by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

The incident at Sunday’s half-marathon in Montreal is a reminder of last year’s Brooklyn Half Marathon, where 16 runners collapsed during the race.

A 30-year-old man died after collapsing at the finish line during that race.

The Brooklyn Half Marathon required all runners to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

New York Road Runners updated their COVID-19 policies on January 1, 2023:

Starting January 1, 2023, and in accordance with New York State and the City of New York protocols and guidelines:

  • Participants in NYRR races and youth participants in Rising New York Road Runners events are not required to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
  • Runners will not be required to wear a face covering while in the start corral, on the course, or in the post-finish area.
  • Face coverings are not required at the NYRR RUNCENTER or other indoor venues.

It appears Marathon Beneva de Montreal did not require the COVID-19 shot for this year’s race.

“We are working closely with the various governmental authorities to implement a sanitary plan that will ensure the safety of everyone during the Marathon Beneva de Montréal weekend. The organization will unveil the measures put in place as they are established,” the event’s website said about sanitation measures.

“No, a participant who shows symptoms of COVID-19 must not attend the event. In this specific case, proof of testing within 48 hours of the event must be presented to the Organization to obtain a refund of the registration fee, excluding processing fee,” the website said.


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