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Curr Sports Med Rep. 2014 May-Jun;13(3):147-54. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000050.

An organized medical response for the Vancouver International Marathon (2006-2011): when the rubber hits the road.

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1Schools of Nursing, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; 2Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 3Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 4Undergraduate Student, University of British Columbia, Canada; 5Mass Gathering Medicine Interest Group, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada.



We described an organized, on-site medical response for a large-scale urban marathon event and documented illness/injury rates as well as ambulance transfer rates at the Vancouver International Marathon (VIM).


Case-series report of medical encounters was documented prospectively over a 6-yr period at the VIM. The planning and organization of the on-site medical response is the main focus of this report.


A total of 67,402 runners participated in the VIM from 2006 to 2011. Over the 6-yr period, 2,986 patient encounters were documented. The patient presentation rate for the series was 45/1,000, the ambulance transfer rate was 0.09-0.58/1,000, and the medical transfer rate was 0.37-1.09/1,000.


A coordinated on-site medical team covering the entire event site and race route was deployed to reduce the severity of illness and injury at a long-distance running event.

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