St John Wales volunteers will be keeping runners and spectators safe at the Cardiff Half Marathon this weekend.
More than 19,000 runners will be taking on the 13.1 mile course around the Welsh capital this Sunday (6 October) with a further 40,000 spectators due to cheer them on.
110 volunteers from Wales’ leading first aid charity St John Wales will be manning the course, providing first aid to runners who need it.
James Shaughnessy, St John Wales’ Director of Operations said, “Last year our volunteers treated more than 100 casualties at the half marathon. The most common complaints were sprains and strains, blisters and feeling faint or nauseous. Five people were taken to hospital for further treatment, including one runner who was suffering from a cardiac arrest.
“Many people don’t realise that without our volunteers, large events like the half marathon couldn’t take place. Our volunteers provide first aid cover at events throughout Wales including rugby six nations games, premiership football matches, the Royal Welsh show and Eisteddfods. Not only could these events not happen without us, we have also saved lives while covering them.”
The 110 volunteers on duty this weekend will be located at each drinks station around the course (at the three, six, nine and 11 mile points), with two medical centres at the finish line and cycle responders, motorbikes, paramedics and ambulances patrolling the course as needed.
The volunteers will be packing 1000 plasters for blisters, 150 ice packs for sprains and strains and 100 oxygen masks to treat runners who need it.
Supporters of St John Wales will also be taking part in the race, raising vital funds to continue the charity’s lifesaving work.
One of the runners, Darren Talbot, who has been a St John Wales member for six years, said, “Myself and a colleague are hoping to raise £1,500 by running the Cardiff Half on Sunday and taking part in the Tough Mudder event in Powys earlier this month. This money will be used to continue our life saving work in Wales.”
St John Wales has more than 4,600 volunteers who spend around 200,000 hours on duty every year. If you would like to find out about becoming a St John volunteer or would like to make a donation, visit www.stjohnwales.org.uk.