The Beach to Beacon is trying something that I haven’t seen a lot of to date. They are trying to collect relevant medical data on as many of their runners as they can so that if there is an emergency it will be available to the first responders who are on site.

I am relatively paranoid about handing out my private information. I have had difficulties setting up utility accounts before when they tried to convince me that they were required by law to have more information about me than I was willing to give them.

This strikes me as a good idea, though. I have had a friend suffer from some serious heat exhaustion at this race specifically, and know people that have been in worse shape at other races. Especially when running in hot and humid conditions, it is very easy to become disoriented and to further compound your problems just because you can’t think straight.

I need to look a little more specifically into the specific company being used by the Beach to Beacon before I decide whether or not to give them my information, but since I wear a road id whenever I run and I write my medical and emergency contact information on the front of my bibs when I race, I will probably provide at least some minimal information just in case something happens to me this weekend.

For more information, here is the letter sent to me by the Medical Director of the Beach to Beacon:

Dear Runners:

In a little less than 2 weeks, you will be participating in what is considered one of the best 10K road races in the country. The TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon will be enjoying eleven years of history and a proud tradition of excellence.

As the Medical Coordinator of the event, I am writing to seek your assistance in an endeavor that has not been attempted in the road race industry. For the first time at any major athletic event, we are asking that all runners consider providing their medical history and emergency contact information to a secure website. This is suggested, but not mandatory.

Over my 30 plus years of providing medical care to runners at the Boston Marathon and other major races, we have never attempted such a project. Our medical team at the Beach to Beacon has traditionally shown how effective rapid medical care can enhance an event’s outcome.

At times, our medical approach is only as good as the information at hand. For years this industry has relied on the willingness of runners to complete information on the back of a running bib.

Is this how you would expect your family physician to approach your illness or injury? I can recall no other health care program that a medical record cannot be called upon to enhance the treatment of a patient. So why would our industry and the millions of runners participating in a sport we all love, resist the simplest measures of prevention? We are talking about your health and safety – aren’t we?

There are concerns regarding confidentiality and security. Once I submit this information, will anyone else have access? What happens to the information if I discontinue the service…all valid questions. When researching this program, we found a company that I can assure you will honor your concerns with a secure system that will earn your trust. MedicalSummary. com was developed to answer all of these concerns.

Race Directors and runners from all over the country have a strong interest to see how this program unfolds. I am personally asking you to re-visit the Beach to Beacon website and enter your information on the Medicalsummary.com site. This service is free of charge and will only continue if you wish to maintain the relationship.

Our medical team needs your help. As a runner, you deserve the very best medical care available. Your secure information will only enhance our efforts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Chris Troyanos, ATC
Medical Coordinator

(Photo Credit: takomabibelot)