I would like to bring to your attention a situation which happened on the 10k course during the NODM 2015 running. My best friend and I traveled from out of state to specifically run this race. We were having an awesome race on track for our best personal records when we came across a limping 8 year old child alone red faced and glassy eyes which are classic signs of a heat injury.
She and I are former military members and recognized the signs and immediately asked her where her parents were while we began rendering aid. Apparently her mother was running the half marathon course and her Dad who she said was running the 10k course, left her, to continue on the course.
We doused her with cold water, gave her water from our personal hydration packs which we carry because we both have medical issues, and I proceeded to carry her 1.5 miles until paramedics on bicycles came up behind us. We had even sent runners ahead trying to alert paramedics.
I am not only imploring you to set a minimum age limit, but that parents must accompany minors under 12. This was CRIMINALLY irresponsible. We could have pressed charges against the parents. I have no idea what the paramedics will do with an unaccompanied minor.
When we have done other long distance races medical attention has never been more than a half mile apart. While I understand the size of this race and limited resources having more aid or scouts on bicycles is a way to mitigate this risk. I shudder to think what would have happened to this little girl had we not stopped. Other runners had passed her.
Thank you for consideration,