WHEELING — Saturday’s running of the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic Run and Walk was a rather uneventful one for medical personnel on hand to assist race participants.
“We had a few cases of heat illness, mostly hydration issues,” said osteopathic physician C. Clark Milton of Wheeling Hospital, who supervised operations at the medical tent in front of WesBanco Arena, just beyond the finish line for the race.
Milton said by and large, participants were in good health after finishing the day’s events, which included the 5K Run and Walk for Health, the 20K Walk and the main event — the 20K Run.
“Most of the runners are in pretty good shape, and most of them were able to deal with the humidity and heat factor,” he observed.
According to Milton, staffers at the medical tent treated 25-30 racers. Only one of them required hospitalization, for wound cleanup and stitches following a fall during the race, he noted.
Most of those seeking assistance at the tent complained of nausea, dizziness and weakness, problems Milton said were easily remedied with “ice packs, shade and rest.”
Milton added that people planning to run in events like Saturday’s should adhere to the following pointers: train prior to the race, remain adequately hydrated, pay attention to your body’s cues during the event and avoid caffeine and alcohol the night and morning prior to the race.
The medical tent staff was composed of nurses from Wheeling Hospital’s emergency room as well as members of the hospital’s Sports Medicine Department, with help from Wheeling, West Liberty and Bethlehem emergency medical services.
Another option for treatment was the nearby massage therapy tent, run by licensed massage therapist Kathy “K.J.” Burley from That’s the Spot! Massage Therapy of Moundsville. Burley said receiving a massage after strenuous exercise can be a huge key to recuperating.
“It helps the body flush out metabolic waste and reduces recovery time,” she said.
According to Burley, about 150 runners received a post-race rubdown, which she said dramatically reduces soreness after participating in events like the Ogden 20K Classic.