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Runner is revived after collapsing during yesterday's half-marathon and is apparently doing well

 Pedestrian Michael Kasey makes his way past the Confederate Cemetery gate on Washington Avenue as runners race past him.
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Date published: 5/18/2009


Good luck and prompt medical care saved the life of a runner who collapsed during yesterday's Marine Corps Historic Half.

The 29-year-old Alabama man fell to the pavement near Mary Washington Hospital, in the midst of other runners who came to his aid and almost within sight of career medics and an emergency-room doctor and nurse who revived him.

"This guy had the best medical care that we had available," said Natatia Bledsoe, public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.

The incident happened about 9 a.m., just shy of the 11-mile mark of the 13.1-mile half-marathon, near the traffic circle behind the hospital.

The man, whose name was not available, had been running for about two hours and had just climbed the hospital hill, the toughest portion of the course, when he went down.

Other runners, including John Avery of Sanford, N.C., stopped when the man collapsed. They began CPR after recognizing that he was not breathing and had no pulse.

Dottie Currier and Patricia Derr, career medics with the Fredericksburg Fire Department, were at an aid tent about 100 yards away and arrived at the runner's side within minutes. They were soon joined by two other career medics, James Allen and William Allison.

Dr. Shinichi Sato, an ER doctor, and his wife, Yvette Sato, an ER nurse, also ran to the scene from the aid tent.

The runner responded after one shock from a portable defibrillator. He was taken to the ER, and from there to the cardiac catheterization lab.

"He was awake and alert" late yesterday morning, Bledsoe said. "He was doing about as well as you could expect for someone whose heart had just stopped."

The man was one of two runners taken to the hospital during the race, Bledsoe said. The other had an injury that did not appear to be serious.

Several other runners asked for medical help for minor problems while on the course, but they were not taken to the hospital.

Jim Hall: 540/374-5433
Email: jhall@freelancestar.com

Fredericksburg's own Tim Young was the top finisher for the second consecutive year in the Marine Corps Historic Half, posting a time of 1:06:57 yesterday on the 13.1-mile course that weaved through Fredericksburg.

Young, 22, took 2 minutes off his time in last year's inaugural race despite a harder course and periods of heavy rain and strong winds.

The women's top finisher was 33-year old Kristen Herring of Elizabeth City, N.C. She crossed the finish line in 1:28:33.

For more on the results, see B1.

--Carden Hedelt