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Trailblazing Safety: Avive x Headlands 27k

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Headlands 27k

The Golden Trail World Series is coming to the United States for the first time ever this September, September 14 – 15th! We are teaming up with Action Medicine Consultants and Jeffrey Stern to equip the medical staff at Headlands 27k with Avive Connect AEDs. We couldn’t be more excited about the partnership and the opportunity to help support a safe race day in Marin County, California. 

Because of the remote and oftentimes difficult terrain associated with trail running competitions, it is extremely important to have well equipped medical staff spread throughout the trail. Studies show that about 50% of all mountain hiking deaths are associated with cardiac arrest, so having portable, easy to use AEDs can help be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. 

Our very own Rory Beyer, co- founder and President of Avive, will be running the Headlands 27k race in September, so we chatted with Jeffrey to learn more about the inspiration behind the partnership and the value of preparing for cardiac arrest emergencies on the trail. Here’s what he had to say. 

portable AED
Photo credit: Taylor Peliska and Movemint.

Why is the Headlands 27k excited to partner with Avive Solutions in 2024?

We’re really excited to partner with Avive Solutions’ portable AED technology and to have it on course, making medical help much more accessible during race day. It’s always the goal to have a race with no serious injuries, but it’s important to plan for anything that can happen. Having more medical professionals available in case a dangerous cardiac issue arises for a participant gives us a great peace of mind and hopefully everyone a more enjoyable race experience knowing their safety and health is our number one priority.  

As a race director, how do you approach ensuring safety for racers and spectators when putting an event together?

Putting in place a robust medical plan that covers the critical areas of the course as well as an incident communication plan is vital for the safety of our racers. We look at areas of the route with difficult access points and in the case of an emergency situation try to make it as easy as possible for the participant to receive the swift medical attention they need.

Were there any specific safety concerns or considerations for this race specifically that led to this partnership?

Fortunately this race is not as remote as other events in high alpine or wilderness areas, but we still love the fact that our partnership with Avive Solutions and working closely with Dr. Castle from Action Medicine Consultants to provide the broadest race course coverage with EMTs and AEDs the sport has likely ever seen. With hundreds of runners, potentially hot weather, anything can happen and our team will be ready to support everyone out there on race day. A safe event is a successful event.

How do you envision the presence of portable AEDs enhancing safety and peace of mind for runners and spectators at the Headlands 27k?

I love the innovation behind the Avive Connect AED — it’s portable, has a rechargeable battery, universal pads, a child mode, and even works in Spanish. Every couple miles a runner will pass by an on-course EMT with one of these revolutionary, life changing devices, and should something happen, the reaction time for life-saving measures will be spectacular.

Trail running is all about inspiring people to challenge themselves in nature. There is some inherent risk with the activity, but the reward can be so great. Just like the risk involved with attempting to save someone, both experiences can be life changing and are interconnected.

JEFFREY STERN

How do you see the mission and values of Avive aligning with the goals and ethos of The Golden Trail World Series and Headlands 27k?

The mission of Avive to “increase the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by proactively empowering people with reliable life-saving tools” resonates with me deeply as I have close friends and family that have suffered from SCA. To empower the general public to help others in need whenever the unfortunate time arises is a special thing. Trail running is all about inspiring people to challenge themselves in nature. There is some inherent risk with the activity, but the reward can be so great. Just like the risk involved with attempting to save someone, both experiences can be life changing and are interconnected.

What advice would you give to people putting on other athletic events when it comes to safety measures and emergency medical coverage?

Have a plan, communicate it with everyone clearly and multiple times, and then get out and experience the day. Let what may come to fruition be and know that you and your team are prepared to tackle anything.

Learn more & register for the Headlands 27k on September 14th15th here!

All photos taken and provided by Taylor Peliska and Movemint.

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