PA Students Volunteer At NYC Marathon

On Sunday Nov. 3, 2013 the streets of New York City transformed into one of the world's most legendary running courses.  Over 50,000 runners from around the globe descended on the city with iron-clad wills to finish the 26.2 mile ING New York City Marathon.  Beach Silver, a first-year Physician Assistant student at Pace University – Lenox Hill Hospital, gathered 16 of her fellow students to join the event as volunteers.

Half of the students congregated before dawn at Mile 8 to help coordinate an expansive water station that would supply quick-access water to the 50,000 strong running crowd passing through later that morning.  As the race commenced, volunteers lined the sidelines holding out water cups for runners to grab as they passed.  They grew hoarse from shouting out names and slogans of support for 4 hours until the last runner passed.

The remaining group of students worked the medical tents at the finish line.  They joined their posts at sunrise to assist the set up and coordination of what was to be NYC's busiest mobile clinic!  Students helped manage care for over 1900 patients that day!  They ran their own mini marathon catching runners as they entered the tents, wrapping ice packs around sore knees, and ushering hypothermic runners to cots.  Given the race's intensity, students even faced unresponsive patients requiring CPR, defibrillation, and transfers to definitive care.

Overall it was a day filled with hard work, collaboration, and high adrenaline.  Students were fortunate to have front row seats at this globally televised, world-renowned event.  More importantly, they experienced first-hand NYC's extraordinary annual undertaking to host it, and were humbled by the back-breaking work provided by volunteers to ensure the success, comfort, and care of the runners each year.  Pace’s students drew from the energy and perseverance of the runners, and left the race feeling inspired to carry on with their own grueling marathon -- PA school.

-Veronica Maddocks, PA-S & Amelia Bell, PA-S