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Posted: March 24, 2013  

Athletics: Boutique Marathon Takes Cardiac Wellness to Heart

The Run For Heroes Marathon has a record of introducing the latest cardiac technology

WINDSOR, Ontario --- The World Alzheimer's Day Run For Heroes Marathon will have Automated External Defibrillators along the race course in 2013, "ensuring participants are never more than a kilometer away from one," said race director Chris Uszynski.

"This is on top of the emergency medical services, ambulances and physicians on the course," added Uszynski, himself a former marathoner and ultra-marathoner.

The Run For Heroes Marathon is purchasing 13 AEDs and will have trained volunteers every 2 kilometers at every aid station throughout the marathon course. Uszynski credits this move to purchase these units to "the advent of new easy to use, low cost portable public AEDs."

According to the American Heart Association and European Resuscitation Council, a sudden cardiac arrest victim requires defibrillation to stop ventricular fibrillation, an often-fatal heart condition. The only known treatment for sudden cardiac arrest is a shock from a defibrillator, administered as quickly as possible.

The American Heart Association notes on their website that it is estimated that more than 95 per cent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. The idea of being able to possibly save one life was all the Uszynski needed.

"This is more than us doing our due diligence, this is about ensuring that every one of our participants crosses the finish line healthy and returned safely to their loved ones. I feel I owe them that."

The Run For Heroes Marathon has a record of introducing the latest cardiac technology. In the 2012 Run For Heroes Marathon, Uszynski partnered with the Windsor Cardiac Centre to pioneer the use of a monitoring device called a cardiphone on 27 runners during the full marathon. The cardiphone acts as a wireless device that combines cardiac arrhythmia monitoring and cell phone technology in one unit allowing for real-time transmission and recording of patient data files to a team of cardiologists at the finish line. This innovative pilot study was born out of a desire to help prevent sudden deaths of athletes who may have undiagnosed heart conditions.

Delivering a high-quality run experience, the Run For Heroes Marathon is a small boutique race taking significant measures to ensure the safety of its participants, including volunteers and spectators.

The Run For Heroes Marathon is the official run for the war of 1812 Bicentennial celebration between Canada and the United States and a fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Society in-home respite and day-away programs. It is Canada's most southern marathon (Boston Qualifier), half marathon, 10k, and 5k run. It is one of the flattest courses in the world, with an elevation difference of 38 feet. The race follows the waterfront course along the Detroit River and takes in an 1812 battle reenactment with historic Fort Malden as runners proceed through Fort Malden.

Noted as one of the flattest and fastest Boston qualifiers in the world, last year the marathon attracted just fewer than 2,000 runners and it is expected that the marathon this fall would attract 3,000.

Races are scheduled for September 21 and 22, 2013. Registration information can be found online at RunningFlat.com.


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