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PUBLICITY CONTACT:        Franca Gargiulo

                                                Director of Media Relations

                                                Phone: (415) 922-2870

                                                E-mail: franca.gargiulo@att.net





April 22, 2004, Carmel, CA - As the runners and walkers registered for the Big Sur International Marathon course get prepared for the "world's greatest marathon" on Sunday, April 25, 2004, so does the medical team headed by Dr. John Ellison, Race Medical Director, in coordination with Sand City Police Chief, Michael Klein.


This year, a total of 14 defibrillators, including a number of automatic external defibrillators (AED's), will be placed along the course with trained personnel to operate them in case of any cardiac arrests. Up until 10 years ago, the use of standard defibrillators was restricted to highly trained medical personnel in a hospital or ambulance setting. Now, with the new automated portable defibrillator, they are mobile, and can be used by someone with less training, even in isolated Big Sur.


Six teams of police officers on bicycles will be riding along the course. The bicycle teams will include a nurse, a person trained to operate the AED, someone to administer CPR, someone to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and someone to travel to the closest point of communication. In addition there will be 3 ambulances and four fire brigades  participating.


According to Dr. Ellison, "Some of the factors that attract participants to this race are also the challenges we face for medical care: the isolation, geography, weather, and hills. We strive to make this event as safe as possible within the presence of these elements and have a detailed communication strategy in place."


He adds, "We are encouraged in recent years by the high level of preparation and training of the participants which increases their chances of success. Runners are also in better shape than in past years. Many go through the marathon training clinics and register early to be part of this race that sells out 6 months ahead of time."




The 19th annual presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon is set for Sunday, April 25 at 7:00 A.M. All proceeds from the event will be distributed to non-profit organizations throughout Monterey County and Big Sur. Over the past 18 years, more than $1 million has been distributed to local charities. For more information, call the Big Sur International Marathon office at (831) 625-6226 or www.bsim.org.