I hung out with the queen all day sunday. it was great. bit wet, though. and cold. possibly because I wasn't so much hanging out with the queen as standing outside buckingham palace, in the pouring rain, (shivering convulsively) and playing first aider to the masses of idiots who came stumbling across the finish line of the london marathon.
we (uni. sheffield chapter of st. john ambulance) were on snatch-and-grab duty, which meant that every time someone used up the last of their oxygen, adrenaline, blood sugar and/or other life-supporting body substance in a final dash across the finish line and collapsed into a puddle of lactic acid and man-sweat, a couple of us would run in, give a brief assessment and pull/push/carry them to the nearest first aid tent. there we would find physios, nurses, doctors, paramedics, ambulances and an on-site ICU ready and waiting. well, ready, at least. with 35,000 people running, we were the ones who tended to do the waiting - all 120 lbs. of me and the fully grown male I was trying to prevent from collapsing.
there have been nine fatalities since the london marathon began 27 years ago, including a 22-year-old man last year. forty people were rushed to the hospital on sunday, but none were intubated and no one died. even more impressive, I did not encounter a single vomiting episode the entire day! just an asthma attack, a back injury, mild hypothermia and lots of general knackeredness to the point of not being able to stand up or, occassionally, form coherent sentences.
here we are, the first aiders from sheffield, poking around by tower bridge the night before the marathon.