The following account is taken almost entirely from information contained in an excellent front-page article in today's Cincinnati Enquirer about yesterday's Flying Pig Marathon, written by Dustin Dow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bobby Edwards was a streaker. This is what they call marathoners in Cincinnati who have run all of the prior Flying Pig Marathons in that city. On Sunday morning, as he was approaching the tenth mile in this tenth running of the Flying Pig Marathon, Edwards was feeling good. Suddenly, without warning, the 55 year-old sub-5 hour marathoner collapsed. He lay lifeless in the road while bystanders desperately called for help. A minute ticked by.
Patrick Conrey, an EMT from Clearwater, Florida, must have been getting hot in his fireman's gear as he approached milepost 10. Cincinnati fireman Oscar Armstrong III had perished in a fire on March 21, 2003. Two Cincinnati-area firefighters, Captain Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira of Colerain Township, had similarly fallen while fighting a fire on April 4th. Conrey was running the Flying Pig Marathon in full fireman regalia in tribute to them and to raise money for charity. (Conrey was running for others at the Flying Pig Marathon.)
Some paramedics from local fire departments were running with Conrey in support of his effort. This group came across Edwards lying motionless in the roadway a minute after he went down, at about the moment that a paramedic team standing by elsewhere on the course was being dispatched to the scene. With one precious minute gone by, every second counted for the inert Edwards.
Surveying the scene as the group ran up on the prostrate Edwards, Conrey said to his comrades, "It's time to go to work, boys." The unnamed local firemen switched from runners to rescuers instantly and sprang to Edwards' aid.
CPR was started upon the unconscious Edwards. The standby paramedic unit arrived. For twenty minutes paramedics worked upon the prone runner in the roadway while marathoners streamed by.
Chest compressions were done. A tube was inserted in his mouth. He was shocked by a defibrillator three times.
Edwards was resuscitated and transported to University Hospital. He was speaking by the time he arrived. On Sunday night he was listed in stable condition.
Conrey modestly said, "I don't want to take too much credit. I was just there handing them drugs. Those paramedics running with me, they saved his life."
Edwards' daughter Stephanie Rabius said, "I could be planning a funeral right now. He had a heart attack. If they hadn't been there, my father would be dead."
Edwards asked his daughter at the hospital, "So, was I dead?"
She told him, "Yeah. You were."
Race medical director Dr. Jon Devine said the hospital cardiologist described the recovery Edwards made from his heart attack as "one of the greatest saves he's ever seen."
Conrey, a 3:22 marathoner who went on to finish the marathon in a time of 5:26:42 while carrying about 40 pounds of equipment, stated how he felt about having an unanticipated delay during his race. "You almost feel like that was the reason we were running the marathon today. It was twenty minutes well spent on the course."
There were some heroes afoot in Cincinnati this past weekend.