Runner who was attacked by hornets at 10K race thanks fellow runners and organisers who saved her life

runner attacked by hornets at race

Image: Newbury Today

Runner Mary Galer has praised fellow runners and race organisers at the Pangbourne 10K, who saved her life last weekend after she was stung 12 times by hornets during the race.

The 38-year-old runner went into anaphylactic shock after being attacked by the hornets around 7km into the race. Thanks to the treatment she received by a quick-thinking marshal and a trainee nurse, Galer has since made a full recovery.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Galer said: “I think it was a nest angered by runners in front of me. I remember feeling all these stings on my legs. When I looked down all I could see were hornets on my legs. 

“Before I could do too much, within seconds I could feel my lips swelling, and my throat and tongue.”

Galer struggled to walk and lay down. She has since discovered it was fellow runners who stopped racing and carried her to safety. Race marshal Andrew Broderick helped keep Galer calm, whilst trainee-nurse and fellow runner Carly Walker stopped running to care for Galer. Paradmedics soon arrived and administered adrenaline, which Galer says saved her life.

runner attacked by hornet

Runner Carly Walker later visited Galer in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, with a Mars bar and her runner’s medal.

According to reports, approximately 20 runners were stung during the event. Race organiser Vicki Charlesworth said: “When we organise the 10K race our top priority is to offer our hundreds of runners an enjoyable and well-organised race, so we were delighted to hear that Mary is doing well after her allergic reaction.

“Friends of Pangbourne Primary School, like all PTAs across the country, is run by volunteers and we are very thankful for our dedicated team of marshals who ensured that Mary received the first aid she needed, as well as the other runners who stopped their own race to help Mary until she travelled to hospital.

“It’s a testament to the wonderful community of runners and volunteers who participate in this race that Mary, and others who were stung, were supported so well and we want to say thank you to all those who helped.”

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