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Marathon Volunteers Get New Medical Training

First ever online-training provided to volunteers at the Chicago Marathon

By Jessica Guido
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:45 AM CDT
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2010 Marathon: The Weird and the Wacky

AP Images / Jerry Lai

There are 20 aid stations throughout the 26.2 mile course.

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Chicago Marathon runners will have one less thing to worry about this weekend.

Northwestern University is making sure health is the marathon's number one priority thanks to its Novel Training course for marathon medical volunteers.

This year, training will be done using an online educational program that focuses on the unique health issues experienced by runners.

One of course's developers, Dr. George Chiampas, says about 60 percent of runners suffer from exercise-associated collapses, including becoming lightheaded, weakness in the legs, hyperthermia and sodium shortages that can affect the body immediately after the run.

"Marathon participants this year will benefit from even more well-trained medical volunteers to ensure a safe environment on race day," Chiampas said in a statement.

He contends that communication is essential for volunteers to solve medical issues faster. "The goal is to bring together care providers who do not normally work together and iron out issues like who leads and who handles what," said Chiampas.

If interested in the program, visit the Simulation Technology and Immersive Learning Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine website.

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