A Hawkesbury marathon runner stopped during a race to help save a life

A group of runners from the Hawkesbury participated in this year's Blackmores Sydney Half Marathon with the aim of completing the course together.

Josh McCall, Kim Harris, Sally Myers, Penny Seldon, Arian Harriot, Allan Vanags and Karryn McGregor set out on the run early on the morning of Sunday, September 15.

At the starting line: Adrian Harriot, Karryn McGregor, Sally Myers, Kim Harris, Allan Vanagas and Josh McCall. Picture: Supplied

At the starting line: Adrian Harriot, Karryn McGregor, Sally Myers, Kim Harris, Allan Vanagas and Josh McCall. Picture: Supplied

"We ran as a group, a little different for most of us, which was great for encouragement and motivation and definitely fun," said Karryn.

"We were planning our big photo finish on the line however in the last 200 to 300 metres we lost Josh.

"We couldn't find him for about 25 to 30 minutes. When we finally found him, we found out he had been a bit of a hero."

Josh is an active member of the Hawkesbury community. He has lived here his whole life and is currently raising his daughter and son here.

Josh works at the Richmond Club and at Active8 Fitness in Richmond.

He is also involved with the Hawkesbury Saints AFL, where his son plays, helping out where he can.

The group that ran know each other from East Richmond Parkrun, where Josh is the run director.

At the half marathon, Josh was coming to the final kilometre of the race and was feeling quite tired and drained himself when he saw a runner had collapsed.

"There was already two people helping him on the ground," said Josh.

"I had gone up and asked if he hit his head and they said he had, so I secured his neck.

On the move: Josh in action during the marathon. Picture: Supplied

On the move: Josh in action during the marathon. Picture: Supplied

"We had to flip him onto his side as he started frothing at the mouth, making sure we could keep his airways open.

"He had a very faint pulse and then he started convulsing, seizing and then stopped.

"We felt for a pulse again and there was nothing. One of the runners who had stopped was a doctor and she said we had to start compression.

"So we rolled him onto his back and I held his head back, keeping the airways open.

"After about three minutes of compressions the paramedics took over and started pumping air into his lungs.

"They gave him two shocks and there was nothing. As far as I was aware he had died, so I gave my statement, met back up with everyone else.

"It wasn't until later that we read a report that he was alive and that he had been taken to the hospital in critical condition."

It was very strange experience for Josh, as Karryn pointed out: "marathons can be quite emotional and draining ... and not many people stop for other runners. But Josh's and others quick actions helped saved the guy's life".

The collapsed runner was taken to St Vincent's in critical condition. No updates were available at time of publication.

Finished: The whole group after finishing the race at the Opera House. Picture: Supplied

Finished: The whole group after finishing the race at the Opera House. Picture: Supplied

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