Medical director: No IVs at marathon unless medically necessary

IVs will only be given to athletes who are physically dehydrated at the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. American-Statesman photo
IVs will only be given to athletes who are physically dehydrated at the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. American-Statesman photo

Austin Marathon & Half Marathon medical personnel will not provide intravenous fluids to athletes unless they are medically necessary.

That from Pierre Filardi, medical director of the race and a longtime runner and triathlete. “Our policy will be that we are not providing this service for those who just want an IV,” Filardi said.

Filardi pointed me to an article in the Chicago Tribune about a company that provides “hydration therapy” to athletes who want to avoid cramping or hitting the wall during a race or help with recovery afterward.

The treatment costs $169. Experts quoted in the article say the infusions are risky, could slow a runner’s pace and create the need to stop at a portable toilet.

Elective IVs have become popular in recent years among runners, triathletes, cyclists and tennis players who say them help them recover more quickly so they can train harder.

Author: Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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