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August 20, 2001

High Temps keep medical tent busy and other short stories

By Meri-Jo Borzilleri and Mark Fitzhenry/The Gazette

An uncommonly hot day led to a busy medical tent at the marathon finish line.

Temperatures reached the 90s by early Sunday afternoon at the finish line, and the summit of Pikes Peak was an unusually toasty 70 during the race.

One runner collapsed on the course. Paul Schaefer, 40, of Colorado Springs, fell on Ruxton Avenue, less than a mile from the finish, and was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted for heat stroke and expected to stay overnight, said nursing supervisor Jane Johnson.

Medical race personnel said Schaefer had been complaining of dehydration and chest pains on the course and was instructed to turn around.

Another runner who asked not to be identified was also sent the hospital for severe dehydration.

"It was warm all the way to the top and people didn't get any relief," said Todd Rowader, director of Memorial Hospital HealthLink, which was staffing the finish tent.

Rowader figured his staff treated close to 40 runners for symptoms of heat exhaustion, compared to about half that on a typical marathon day. Between 20 to 25 runners needed intravenous fluid.

Rowader said a half dozen others were sent to the hospital with possible fractures, mostly ankles and one elbow.

THIS IS A GIFT? For Amy Barnish of Fort Collins, who finished fourth in the women's race with a time of 5:11:48, the marathon was a Mother's Day gift from her husband.

He offered to watch the children for the months Barnish trained for the race and the day she ran it.

"This is the first time I've done it since I had kids," she said.

SLOW LANE: Matt Carpenter's winning time of 3:53:53 was the second-slowest to win the Pikes Peak Marathon since 1976. Last year Stephen Smalzel posted a winning time of 3:54:46.

Before that, every winning time since 1976 (when the start was moved back 1.2 miles) has been faster.

FASTEST COUPLE: The Carpenters. Not only did Matt win the marathon for the fifth time and the first time since 1998, his wife Yvonne placed 10th in the women's race with a time of 5:28:31. That made up for 1995, when Yvonne took more than 7 hours to complete the course as Yvonne Franceschini. They were married last year.

"Now that I'm a Carpenter, I have to clear my name," Yvonne said.

ASHES TO ASHES: Floyd Paiz of Gunnison didn't run the marathon alone.

In his fannypack he carried the ashes of his father and his late friend Susan Hoffman.

The 45-year-old Paiz wrote in black marker on his right arm, "In memory of Susan." Hoffman died Feb. 22 during a ski trip in Crested Butte; as she was skiing down the slope to meet her husband she was caught in a snowslide.

The morning Paiz found out, he registered for the marathon (he had a form but had been procrastinating). This was his first Pikes Peak Marathon.

Not all of the ashes stayed in the bag. During the ascent he sprinkled some on his shoes and legs.

"I put some on the bottom of my shoes for traction," Paiz said. "I thought it might help."

FLATLANDER: Andy Katz of Winchester, Mass., has run 17 marathons. But Sunday was his first at Pikes Peak -- and it's one he'll remember.

"It was a killer," Katz said. "It was brutal. Just a brutal run. It's not like the heat was the only factor."

The only race he could compare it to was a 7.6-mile run up Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

"Mount Washington is excruciating, but 5 minutes after the race you're ready to go for a jog," Katz said.

"This one's tough because it's a marathon and you've got to come down."

Copyright 1999-2001, The Gazette, a Freedom Communications, Inc. Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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