Medical

Toronto Marathon Medical Team

The Marathon medical team is made up of medical and health care professionals who are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our participants, volunteers, spectators, and staff and attending to their needs on race day from the start line to the finish line.

The team includes doctors, registered nurses, physio therapist, registered massage therapist, chiropodist, paramedics, and emergency medical responders.

There is a large medical tent at the finish line in which any participant in need will be assessed and treated. In addition, there are designated locations on the course where Toronto EMS is stationed as well as paramedics from St. Johns Ambulance.

Running a marathon is a true test of endurance which requires proper training and planning by runners and our event team. We work closely with The City of Toronto, including Police and EMS to ensure we have the necessary medical staff and qualified volunteers in place to look after the needs of everyone involved in our event.

We strongly advise that participants seek the advice of their physician prior to embarking on training program or registering for our event. Respect the distance!

Listen to your body: If you are injured or experience any symptoms that are not normal in the days immediately prior to the event that could prevent you from finishing, we recommend that you consider not running the Toronto Marathon and related events.

Maintain your routine: Do not make any major changes to your training or diet in the days leading up to the race. Proper hydration is key to a successful finish, so on race day; a simple rule is "drink to thirst. Never wear new running shoes for the first time on race day, check the weather and dress appropriately. Layering is recommended and often better to feel a little chilly when starting as you can shed layers if needed as you warm up.

If you experience any feelings of abnormality, seek the attention of our medical team, volunteers or any race official for assistance. Make sure that you are familiar with the course and location of Aid Stations.

Vans are available on the course to provide transportation to the finish area should you be unable to complete your event.

Medical Team Coordinator:
Dr. Lowell Greib MSc ND CISSN

BSc – Biochemistry & Biotechnology
MSc – Analytical Chemistry
ND – Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)

Certified Sports Nutritionist
(International Society of Sport Nutrition)
Lecturer, Department of Graduate Studies
(Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College)
Medical Director
(Toronto Marathon & The Limberlost Challenge Ultramarathon)

Lowell is an experienced long distance trail runner, mountain biker, skier, adventure racer and accomplished marathon runner. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, both as a medical professional and athlete to our team. He works closely with all of our medical related “stakeholders” in coordinating and planning the Toronto Marathon medical team and ensuring the safety and security of our participants.

For more information on Lowell, please go to: www.thesportlab.ca

Medical Team Director:
Dr. Martin J. Horak, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Horak is a specialist Emergency Physician working full-time in the Department of Emergency Medicine at St Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto. He is a native of Victoria, BC and received his medical training in Vancouver, Toronto, and Boston. He has run numerous marathons and is also an avid long-distance cyclist. Martin leads our team of volunteer doctors and RN’s in the medical tent and at the finish area.

Physio and Massage (RMT) Team Coordinator:
Shawn Bandali

Shawn is a physio therapist in the Greater Toronto area and has been volunteering his time with the Toronto Marathon since 1995. He is one of our longest serving volunteers and coordinates the Physio and RMT teams located at the finish line. He has been instrumental in building these teams over the years, and continuously strives to improve the experience of our participants requiring these services while providing quality care.

Chiropody Team:
Our chiropody team consist of 3 to 4 foot care specialist located in the finish line medical tent to attend to the needs of all participants who might require their services.

Toronto EMS
Toronto Ambulance is stationed along the course to provide care for our participants as efficiently as may be necessary. As participants move towards the finish line, Toronto Ambulance re-positions its units so that they can respond rapidly if required.

St. Johns Ambulance
The St. Johns Team at the Toronto Marathon provides first aid and emergency response support on the course and at the finish area. Under the guidance of our network of medical and health care professionals, St. John Ambulance is the national leader, setting the standard for training in first aid, CPR and other lifesaving skills.

Event Alert System
The Event Alert System, or EAS, is a color-coded method of quickly communicating to participants the potential for adverse weather conditions that can affect the race event. A series of color codes is used to indicate the increasing severity of adverse conditions as outlined below:

Heat

These adverse conditions are most usually related to heat stress. However, the system could also be used to warn of other potentially dangerous situations, such as cold, storms, tornadoes, or even non-weather situations like auto accidents or fires on or near the course.

Heat Stress Calculation
The heat stress is calculated using a special scientific instrument, designed for that purpose. The proper term for what is being measured is the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature Index, or WBGT Index. This index is expressed in either degrees of Celsius or degrees of Fahrenheit, depending on how you want your device to report.  The WBGT Index is calculated using an accepted mathematical formula that takes into account the following variables:

  • Ambient temperature (the usual “weatherman forecast” temperature)
    Relative humidity
  • Solar radiation (not the “glow in the dark” kind, but rather the “sunshine on a black car hood” kind)
  • The cooling effect of wind

The color codes correspond to specific parameters of the WBGT Index, with each color changing as the severity of the WBGT Index rises.

  • Green – low risk – a WBGT Index of less than or up to 84.9F (29.3C)
  • Yellow – moderate risk – a WBGT Index of between 85F to 87.9F (29.4C and 31C)
  • Red – high risk – a WBGT Index of between 88F to 89.9F (31.1C and 32.1C)
  • Black – extreme risk – a WBGT Index of more than 90F+ (32.2C)

Be aware of the flags at the start line and on the course. As conditions change, information will be communicated to our Aid Stations and the proper colour coded flag will be displayed. Course marshals and Aid Stations will communicate information to participants on course.

The safety of our participants, volunteers, and spectators is paramount. Hard decisions sometimes must be made to ensure the safety of ALL.


More Information

Further important medical information has been provided and should be read by all participants.

Click here for information regarding:

  • Detailed Account of Race Day Medical Coverage
  • Hydration, Dehydration & Hyponatremia
  • Preparing for Different Weather Conditions
  • How the Toronto Marathon Medical Team May Assist You
  • The Responsibilities of all Participants

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