JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was about half way through the race when one of the 42 "streakers" in the Gate River Run suffered a heart attack on Hendricks Avenue in San Marco.
Fortunately, several medical personal and three firefighters were right there to revive the man. A " streaker" is one who has run in all 36 River Runs.
Firefighters Chris Stover and his brother Rob were running the River Run together when they heard screaming along Hendricks Avenue. They looked over and saw a man on the ground. A couple of nurses and another firefighter, Brian Green, stopped to assist the downed runner. After collapsing, he was not breathing and did not have a pulse.
"Once we realized that he did not have a pulse, we started CPR and we did CPR until one of the engine companies got there," Chris said.
Firefighters from Engine 13 in San Marco arrived quickly to help.
"It was kind of a team effort, from everybody, engine 13 showed up quick, with a defibrillator which is great, early defibrillation is always a key, and they defibrillated him and within the next minute or two he is sitting there talking to us," Rob said.
The two brothers were running their second river run, Chris was running with his wife, and rob's girlfriend talked him into running with her just one week ago. They were glad they were running behind the man who had the heart attack.
"You know just happy I was able to be there, any of the other thousand firefighters in Jacksonville would have done the same thing, just happy to be in the right spot at the right time and hope it all works out for him," Rob said. "Actually it kind of makes you feel good, this is one of the best parts of the job is seeing a positive outcome to a bad situation."
After working on the man for about 10 minutes, they went on to finish the race along with the thousands of other River Run participants.
"We were able to finish, and we finished on an adrenaline high, that is for sure," Chris said.
Race Director Doug Alred told First Coast News he does not know the name of the runner who had the heart attack or his condition at this time. He says there have been several such incidents in the history of the race. About five years ago a "streaker" died from a heart attack during the race.
Two other runners were transported to the hospital Saturday with medical problems, but overall it was a good race according to Alred. More than 15,600 runners fished the 15K race.
First Coast News