Medical Director

Photo of Mark Harrast

Mark A. Harrast, MD
Medical Director, Seattle Marathon

Clinical Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington

Dr. Harrast is the Medical Director of the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon. He is not only a Sports Medicine physician at UW Medicine, he is also a competitive runner and triathlete, having raced 9 marathons, 4 Ironman triathlons, and countless shorter distance events. His clinical expertise is diagnosing and managing sports-related injuries in endurance athletes. He understands firsthand the benefits of physical activity and the desire to stay active, and therefore the focus of each patient encounter is to return his patients to sport quickly, yet safely. Dr. Harrast speaks internationally on medical issues related to marathon training and racing.

A note from the Medical Director:

Welcome! And congratulations on registering for the 2015 Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon. It is quite the endeavor to train for a marathon and make it to the start line. Realizing the commitment you've made for this race, we want to keep you safe and healthy on race day in order to assure you make it through to the finish—as well as be able to enjoy your recovery period after the race safely. Therefore, the University of Washington Medical Center is providing the medical care for all the participants of the Seattle Marathon Family of Events. With this note, I'd like to introduce our medical services.

We have an excellent team of medical providers, including UW Medicine physicians, nurses, physical therapists, massage therapists and athletic trainers, spaced along the course and located at the finish. You'll recognize them in red shirts with a white cross on the back. Take note of our medical stations on the course as they are also designated with a large red cross. Please review the marathon map to check the location of these stations, which are always adjacent to a water station and staffed with UW Medicine medical professionals. The medical providers at these stations are skilled in the care of endurance athletes and can assist in everything from blister care and cramping to breathing difficulties and chest pain as well as just about everything in between...so, if you need anything, just ask. If you feel you can't continue in the race, please stop at the medical station and transportation can be arranged back to the finish if medically necessary.

We will also have Medic One paramedics roaming the course on bikes in between our medical stations, so feel free to say hello when you run by. And to communicate any medical needs along the course, we have over 100 HAM radio operators ready to assist. These communication specialists have a direct line to our main medical facility at the finish and can assist in getting on-course medical care or transportation for emergencies for runners in need.

Once you make it to the finish you will have access to two other medical stations if the need arises. Our University of Washington Medical Center Medical Tent directly past the finish line in Memorial Stadium is equipped to treat any potential medical emergency, including if you're just not feeling right after crossing the finish line. We also have a satellite medical station inside the Victory Recovery Area for less acute medical needs that arise after you've made it inside to change, refresh, and rehydrate.

Finally, I invite you to attend our UW Medicine Lecture Series on Friday, November 28th at 11:30am and Saturday, November 29th from 11:30am - 2:00pm at The Westin Seattle. We will be reviewing hydration and nutrition strategies for marathon racing as well other issues that may have an effect on your health or performance on race day. Also, a leading local running coach will be outlining this beautiful, yet tactical, course and discussing strategies on how to successfully race it.

Best of luck in the rest of your training leading up to the event!

Mark A. Harrast, MD
UW Medicine Sports and Spine