You train for weeks, often months for a race. With the finish as your goal, you plan for everything – except mid-race injuries. Sure, every race has 1st Aid Stations but often they are not anywhere near where you are when you need help. But RaceGuards are!
Race Guards puts CPR/1st Aid trained (often medical professionals) staff on the course, running right alongside those who need them – wherever they are along the course.
Founder Andy Voggenthaler, an endurance sports enthusiast for over 20 years, has seen a lot of injured and fatigued runners along the way. It was his stopping to help a fellow racer who later passed away that started him thinking about how he could help.
Voggenthaler, a San Diego resident, originally tested the idea in March 2012 at the Finish Chelsea’s Run in San Diego. Sent out in teams, Race Guards paced the race with the runners so that help was right there when needed. Thirteen runners were assisted by the EMT’s, physician assistants, and doctors who volunteered during that initial race. “The interesting thing that happened at that race was that the Race Guards were all so enthusiastic and excited to have helped,” said Voggenthaler.
Once the need was determined, he proposed the idea to his then employer AIG who provided a scholarship to get the concept off of the ground. Today, Race Guards works with “blue chip” partners and sponsors to staff races across the US.
The Race Guards goal is simple: Get more people to the finish line. Race Guards must be certified in First Aid, CPR and AED operation. They serve as first responders to get participants back on track to finish the race whenever possible. Every Race Guard 1st aid kit contains 2Toms BlisterShield and SportShield. “We use 2Toms all of the time,” noted Voggenthaler, “If we can get to racers when it’s a hotspot – before it’s a blister – it’s perfect.”
RaceGuards relies on BlisterShield and SportShield but the truer testimonial may come from the RaceGuards staff. Andy Voggenthaler and fellow RaceGuards personally use the product. “I swim in the cove a lot,” noted Jeff “BodyGlide used to be the product of choice until I tried 2Toms SportShield. Now, that’s all I use under my wet suit. I now use 2Toms BlisterShield in my shoes to prevent blisters and SportShield to prevent chafing when I run”.
Next time you sign up for a race ask if RaceGuards will be there!
Medi-Dyne is proud to have the 2Toms brand as part of the RaceGuards team.