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Monday, August 18, 2003

Heart condition throws one of women’s favorites for a loop

PHOTO BY ANDY ROGERS, THE GAZETTE

A MAD DASH: Runners begin the Pikes Peak Marathon in Manitou Springs on Sunday. The winner in the menís race was Matt Carpenter with a time of 3:43:46.
By ODEEN DOMINGO
THE GAZETTE

Darkness, then light. Maddy Tormoen, 41, of Colorado Springs woke up on a Manitou Springs street, which was part of the Pikes Peak Marathon course, and wondered where she was.

She got up from the street and walked back to the starting line, found race director Ron Ilgen and told him what happened. Then she told Ilgen that she was going for a jog, “to get some kind of workout.”

Tormoen said she had a “V-Tach,” which is short for ventricular tachycardia.

The race’s medical coordinator, John Reasoner said “V-Tach” is a very fast, uncontrolled beat of the major pump of the heart.

It beats so fast that there is not enough blood that flows to the rest of the body.

“It generally leads to cardiac arrest,” Reasoner said.

Ilgen said when Tormoen won the 2000 Garden of the Gods 10-mile race, it seemed like she was having a heart attack.

She had to have “heart defibrillation,” which is delivering an electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm.

Ilgen said Tormoen has been recovering and monitoring her condition and is taking medication.

“I thought she was going to be the top female runners in this race, at least top five,” Ilgen said. “She said she was scared, caught by surprise. It think it was the jitters and that she was nervous that caused the condition. She said, ‘I’m OK. The doctor said this would happen.’ “

Ilgen said he pleaded with Tormoen to get medical attention at the race’s emergency care center but she declined.

The care center’s staff nurse, Gail Allen, said she spoke to Tormoen and Tormoen told her she felt fine. Allen said Tormoen said she was going to jog back on the course.

Tormoen could not be reached for comment and Ilgen, Allen and Reasoner had not heard from her by press time. But Ilgen said she’s probably OK because other runners on the course would have noticed her if she had another episode.

“If something happened to her,” Ilgen said. “We probably would have known about it by now.”

Another record broken
Myra Rhodes, 71, of Sacramento, Calif., crossed the finish line at 9:09:00, setting the Marathon’s 70-74 age group record. Jan Richardson of Arlington, Texas, held the record with a time of 9:13:31 in 1997 when she was 70.

Bare necessities
For the entire race weekend, Ilgen said he purchased a total of 46 cases of red and green grapes, 10 cartons of bananas, 11 cartons of oranges and more than 2,500 bottles of water from a wholesale discount warehouse. The fruit and water were given to the runners at the finish line.

All that water
Ilgen said one of the race’s sponsors, Colorado Springs Utilities, gave a total of 1,600 gallons of water.

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0256 or odomingo@gazette.com


Copyright 2003, The Gazette, a division of Freedom Colorado Information. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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