At least one runner in Sunday's Twin Cities 10-mile race had a lot more to worry about than his finishing time because he had a life to save after he saw a runner collapse on the course.
Whether they are in the clinic, the hospital or on the race course, doctors are always in the life-saving business -- and Dr. Carl Dean's medical training came in handy on Sunday.
"We started running at about 7 a.m.," he recalled.
Dean is the chief resident of internal medicine at the Hennepin County Medical Center, but when the starting gun sounded, he never expected his race against the clock would involve resuscitating a fellow runner.
Dean was making his way from Minneapolis to St. Paul when something caught his eye near mile four on East River Parkway.
"I looked over and heard a guy say, 'I can't feel a pulse,'" Dean told FOX 9 News. "So, I thought this was serious and ran over there."
Dean pivoted from a competitive racer into the role of emergency medical professional.
"Surprising there wasn't a lot of panic," he said. "Most runners were so focused on the race and trying to keep warm, they didn't see what was going on."
Dean quickly did, and he started CPR chest compressions on the fallen runner with the help of some bystanders and a second physician who stopped. The runner appeared to have no pulse and struggled to gasp for air.
Within minutes, marathon medical crews had arrived with an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED. A single shock was all it took to get the man's heart beating properly again.
"We think it was probably less than three to four minutes from the time went down to the time the guy went down to the time the AED was on him," Dr. Bill Roberts, marathon medical director, estimated.
Roberts praised the first responders for their quick-thinking, and Dean didn't just stop after the work was done. He went on to complete the 10-mile course -- although, he asks that no one will look up his finishing time.
The annual marathon has a Runners Helping Runners program, which means that Dean and the others who stopped to render aid will get free entry into next year's race.
Race officials declined to release the name of the stricken runner, but they did say he is expected to be okay. If you are that runner or know of him, FOX 9 News would love to speak to him about his experience. Please send an e-mail to Paul Blume to get in touch.
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