Runners warm up before a marathon in Tel Aviv, on February 26.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Magen David Adom is prepared to ensure the health of more than 40,000 runners who are expected to participate in Friday morning’s Tel Aviv Marathon.
The annual event will begin and end at Rokah Boulevard in the city’s north. Runners may race the full marathon (42.2 kilometers), the half marathon (21.1 km.) and 10 km. and 5 km. routes.
This year the organizers of the marathon will enable the runners to support a social goal and create a personal fund-raising campaign. MDA Friends will run to raise funds for cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation kits.
Ambulances, mobile intensive care units, electric bicycles, ambucycles and other vehicles will be manned by paid and volunteer MDA medics and paramedics all along the route.
At the end of the route, a medical tent will be set up with beds to be staffed by staffers of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, where advanced medical equipment will be installed, including two water pools with ice designed to quickly cool victims of severe heat, In addition, a tent will be set up to treat minor injuries.
Ronen Bashari, director of MDA’s operations division and deputy manager of the Dan region, said on Tuesday that the first-aid and ambulance organization is prepared to provide an immediate medical response and to handle every scenario. Runners who don’t feel well should slow down their running or stop at the side of the road and immediately call the MDA forces deployed on the ground, the emergency 101 phone line or MDA’s app.
Runners are advised to eat breakfast about three hours before the start of the race. The meal should include complex carbohydrates and a portion of protein. About half an hour before starting to run, eat fruit. An hour before the competition, drink about half a liter of water.
During the marathon, be sure to eat and drink according to the precise timing and not according to how hungry and thirsty you feel, said MDA. The muscles need energy, and the body should not be allowed to become dehydrated. One can drink isotonic beverages and eat and energy bars that will supply the body with carbohydrates and restore the salts and fluids lost during the run.
Wear a suitable running outfit, hat and shoes and apply sunscreen. Even if in the early start the sun is hidden behind the clouds and the air is cool, temperatures will probably rise, posing a danger of dehydration and heat stroke.
Dr. Eyal Amar, a senior orthopedist and a sports medicine expert at Sourasky, said that the three main risk factors for injury to runners are running long distances or a too-rapid increase in your regular running; previous injuries; and a premature return to activity after injury resulting from participation in competitive sports.
The risk is especially high when the training distance is more than 64.4 kilometers per week. When running above this level, the risk of injury is 2.88 times greater than for those who run less, Amar said.
Runners who suffered injuries must achieve full recovery before participating in a marathon so as not to suffer a new injury.
In addition, first-time marathon participants will have a more difficult time if they were sick in the two weeks before the race, drank alcohol or took medications to treat various diseases.
Experienced runners usually have fewer injuries because they are “more responsive to their bodies” and tend to avoid overuse injuries, but they have been found to recover more slowly from injury.
The most common injury among marathon runners, regardless of gender, is knee injury. In addition, runners suffer pain on the outside of the knee due to friction of the tendon, stress fractures, inflammation of the Achilles tendon and tears in meniscus. Other complaints included muscle aches, warts, abrasions and weakness.
Men suffer more from injuries to the thigh muscles while women suffer more from hip injuries.