Keck Medicine of USC Medical Tips

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Keck Medicine of USC wants everyone to have a healthy, safe marathon experience. Keck Medicine of USC volunteer physicians, nurses and staff will be available on race day in strategic locations, ready to assist if you suffer an injury or experience medical difficulties, nausea, dehydration or dizziness. We’ve also included some tips below for running your best race.

Glenn Ault, MD
Medical Director, ASICS LA Marathon

Glenn Ault, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, brings more than 20 years of experience in medicine and education to his role as Official Medical Director of the ASICS LA Marathon. As an official sponsor of the ASICS LA Marathon, Keck Medicine of USC and Dr. Ault oversee the organization and staffing of 12 medical tents including 200 volunteer physicians, nurses and staff, who provide first aid treatment and if necessary emergency response for participants. The medical staff is on site to soothe painful blisters and even save lives when serious medical issues arise.


Keck Medicine of USC will provide medical support at 12 aid stations along the course route, including two facilities at the Finish Line. Please refer to the marathon course map, which designates the medical aid stations. On-site assistance will consist of basic first aid, including over-the-counter painkillers, water or Gatorade Endurance and triage for those who experience more serious medical issues. If you need more extensive medical assistance, our volunteers who are working in conjunction with various emergency medical agencies along the course will transport you to the nearest hospital for care. If for some reason you cannot complete the course, transportation to the finish line is available for you to collect your belongings and rejoin your group.

Please remember that while every effort will be made to assist runners, our medical stations will be offering first aid only and may be crowded. We strongly encourage that you prepare appropriately in order for you to have a rewarding marathon experience.

10 Tips for Your Best Running Experience

Being ready for race day means more than just training. Here are 10 tips to help you improve your ASICS LA Marathon experience.

Logistics: Know where you plan to park, and calculate your travel time. Remember there will be pre-race traffic, and to allow time to warm up and stretch.

Fuel: Pre-race nutrition is critical. Limit fiber and eat high carbohydrate meals (80 percent of intake) for several days prior to the race, and a 500-800 calorie breakfast 2-3 hours before the race. Predictability is key: eating foods you know and that worked well on your long training runs is critical for a calm stomach and high energy on race day.

Shoes: It seems obvious, but avoid changes in equipment on race day, especially shoes. Wearing your tried and true runners will help to prevent the foot pain and blistering that are common in long-distance running.

Hydration: Although sweat rates vary from runner to runner, a good guideline for hydration is 6-8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. In addition to water, make sure your race-day hydration consists of energy drinks containing carbohydrates and electrolytes — water alone can lead to hyponatremia, which is a condition in which the amount of sodium in the blood is lower than normal and can lead to serious medical issues. Hydration stations along the marathon route have been strategically located to assist you in your hydration efforts.

Energy Gels/Bars: Familiarity is key to avoid race-day stomach upset, so stick with energy snacks you've used during your training. Consume one 45-60 minutes (with water) after the race starts and every 45-60 minutes thereafter.

Lubrication/Skin Protection: Protect your skin with anti-chafing, anti-blister products, and apply UVB/UVA sunscreen at least 30 minutes before running. Consider wearing sun protective clothing.

Pace: The adrenaline of the race start will lead to the possibility of starting too fast. Begin your pace near or slower than your typical pace from your long training runs to avoid a late race flame out.

Temperature: The temperature can increase significantly during the race. Consider layering your clothing, and most importantly, wear what has been comfortable for you on long training runs.

Pain: Training may lead to some pain on race day, but it is best to stick to your routine. Take over-the-counter medications as normal, but don't experiment on race day.

Danger Signs: If you experience sharp pain with each step, joint swelling, escalating pain or you begin to limp, it is not advisable to push through these types of symptoms and finish the race. In addition, confusion, light-headedness, chest pain and shortness of breath all can be signs of a significant medical issue — seek medical attention immediately.

Make sure you do the things on race day that support the training you have done up to this point and you will have the best opportunity to hit the finish line feeling like a winner!