At Mile 19, a Runner From Texas Is Resuscitated by Firefighters

NY Times - November 02, 2009


A 51-year-old runner from Texas who collapsed and stopped breathing near Mile 19 of the New York City Marathon on Sunday was resuscitated on the street by a group of firefighters, the authorities said.

The runner, Michael Goulding of Fort Worth, was taken to Metropolitan Hospital, where he was resting Sunday night, his mother said in a telephone interview.

About 1:15 on Sunday afternoon, several firefighters from Engine Company 35 in Harlem were parked at the corner of 124th Street and First Avenue when one noticed that a runner had collapsed, Lt. James Daley of Engine Company 35 said.

The firefighters weaved through the crowd of runners to the other side of the street, where they used a defibrillator to revive Goulding. "It took about two or three minutes to get the heart beating," Daley said in a telephone interview.

Daley said the firefighters were not assigned to monitor the marathon and were taking a break from their work. "There weren't any personnel from the marathon on that side of the street - it was just us," he said.

Runners were stopped for a few seconds when the ambulance arrived to pick up Goulding, Daley said.

In a telephone interview, Goulding's mother, Eva, said her son had sustained a mild heart attack. She said the doctors had told her that her son put too much pressure on his body but did not have blockage around his heart. "I told him that he was too old to run a marathon," Eva Goulding said, recalling a conversation she had with her son a few weeks ago.

In a telephone interview, Goulding's wife, Jan, said her husband had never run a marathon but had run a half-marathon. She said he did not have a heart condition and had recently lost several pounds.

According to the race's online tracking system, Goulding had passed Mile 19 at 3 hours 22 minutes 51 seconds, a pace of 10:41 per mile.

"He called me from his cellphone at Mile 18 while he was running and said he was tired, but I bet they were all tired at that point," Jan Goulding said. "The next thing I knew, he called me from the hospital."