Physio volunteers to play leading role in London Marathon’s medical services

Physiotherapists will be key to the welfare of 37,000 athletes taking part in the 2016 London Marathon on Sunday.


Up to 150 physiotherapists and students took care of 37,000 runners in London. Photo: London Marathon

A total of 70 volunteers will be based around the finish line and a further 60 on the route of the 26.2 mile course.

Student physios will join them taking notes and helping out. Head physio Rory Brown will spend the build-up to the race with the elite runners.

Volunteer physios from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

On the day he will oversee the work of physios in nine medical stations at the finish area. Debrah Silva and Abbey Pinnick will lead the physios working on the course, at each mile.

Physios will help runners with strains, muscle cramp, exhaustion, panic attacks, asthma and other breathing problems. They will give massage, assessment and advice as to what should be done afterwards.

Sue Crewe-Smith, from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, has organised 20 physios past and present from the hospital to come to London.

She told Frontline: ‘Volunteering at the marathon gives people experience at a mass event. I get a lot of first year juniors [volunteering] and they’re really keen on what goes on.

‘The event is so well organised. At the finish the physios are working their socks off in a very busy period, non-stop for about three hours.’

As physios assemble on Sunday morning, Ms Crewe-Smith will give a tribute to former Marathon finish head physio Susie Jones who died last month.

‘Susie was such a dynamic force in raising the physio profile at the Marathon,’ one tribute she will read states.

And another: ‘We feel so privileged to have worked alongside you. Thank you for enabling us to help so many runners overcome their troubles and achieve their Marathon ambitions.’

CSP members will also be pounding the streets as Marathon participants, including Glasgow’s Frank Gilroy who will be seeking to break a world record in the Marathon as fastest male mascot.


Marathon head physios: the late Susie Jones and this year's head, Rory Brown

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