As you can imagine, with any sporting event, safety of the competitors is of paramount concern for the organisers. For a one day event, it’s relatively easy to find a paramedic, a doctor and even have an ambulance on standby. But for a multi-day event in the roadless mountains, you have to search for a doctor who is willing to come with you! And for he or she to be able to do that, they have to be fit, experienced in the mountains and preferably love running – that is no easy task!
Thanks to Lisa Tamati, we’ve found Benjamin Winrow, who’s a British doctor living in New Zealand.
I am a Doctor who has always cycled but decided to take up running 2 years ago. I recently came 2nd in the Northburn 100km in NZ, I am enjoying seeing the world and running the great trails. Aside from running I have a passion for remote healthcare and emergency medicine and I also love to see people achieve something they thought impossible. Two things I live by – ‘if you want it enough – you’ll get it’ and ‘if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem’.
We’ve very happy to have Ben coming along, and naturally we hope his skills will not be needed. Ben is a talented runner and we’re encouraging him to race. Due to the mobile nature of the race, like a caravan, running in the field is as good a place to be on standby as any. With two-way radios, the sweepers at the rear will be able to keep in touch with Ben.
Ben will soon develop a medical questionnaire which we will send to all registrants. Later in the year, and before the event itself, we’ll brief you on the safety and emergency medical provision plans so everybody is clear from the start and ready for a safe, fun challenge.
All entrants will of course need to have their own medications and first aid kits at all times with medications for common ailments – blisters, gastro problems, sore-throat / cough etc. (We’ll provide guidelines soon should you need!)
In any event like this, runners need to be self-sufficient and responsible for their own health as much as possible – the race doctor is for accident and emergencies only. But then you can be reassured that should an accident happen, a highly qualified professional will be close by.
Great to have you with us Ben.
ps. Here is Ben running the Greenstone Caples Trail Run: