No pulse? No problem for Duluth marathoner

Marathoners are a different breed; whether they’re a particularly smarter one is an ongoing debate. So fit the story of Tim Cernohous into whatever category you wish.

He collapsed near the end of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth on Saturday morning, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

He didn’t have a pulse. Paramedics performed chest compressions. Then they gave him a shock with a defibrillator.

When he was revived, he jumped up and said “Let’s go — I want to finish the race.”

Then he and his rescuers walked the remaining distance, finishing close to his goal of 1:44, the paper says.

Something similar happened at the 2015 Bjorklund. That year, Cernohous also got into trouble after attempting a late charge, buoyed by cheering. He collapsed that time, too.

Saturday, Cernohous began to experience the tell-tale sign — double vision — upon reaching the closing stretch.

“I thought, ‘Oh, no, not again'” he said. “That’s probably the last thing I remember. Then I woke up, opened my eyes and there are all these people around me. I thought, ‘What the heck is going on?'”

All told, a mere four minutes elapsed from the time Cernohous collapsed until he completed the race. For that, he was deeply appreciative of the first responders and their quick, decisive action. He one day hopes to get their perspective on what transpired.

Cernohous, 33, says he has no plans to scale back his running.

  • Veronica

    Yeah, not sure if it’s all that wise to keep running marathons.

  • Gary F

    Just another day at the races.

    I wonder what he remembers during his heart stoppage?

  • MrE85

    If they had only had defibs in ancient Greece, Pheidippides might have lived to run again.

  • Zachary

    I have a couple of friends who are marathoners. One of whom ran in this one as well. Yes, they are a weird bunch.
    Glad that the paramedics were on hand so quickly. This could have so easily gone from ‘inspiring’ to ‘tragic’ had they not been there.
    I wonder if he will have ‘resuscitation time’ built into all future race goals?

  • Jamison S.

    One point to mention, the defib told them NOT to shock him. From what they described in the updated article, it might not have been a cardiac incident at all.

  • Barton

    I am totally curious if he has been to a cardiologist about this??? One assumes he hasn’t just let this go, but who knows. Sure, it may not be a cardiac event, but it could be something as seemingly benign as a heart murmur.

    • AL287

      He’s a pharmacist so I really can’t feel sorry for him. He’s got enough smarts to know when to get himself to a specialist or at the very least his personal physician.

      However, I don’t think I will be asking him any pharmaceutical questions anytime soon.

  • DJ Wambeke

    There’s something incredibly disheartening about the fact that a man without a pulse can finish a half-marathon faster than I can. Faster even than I could back when I was young and running actual marathons.

  • Kassie

    If I were his life insurance company I would cancel his policy if he continued to run.