LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – More than 12,000 people will be running as much as 26.2 miles during the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini on Saturday.
In 2017, one runner completed the mini Marathon and then he went into cardiac arrest.
"I am celebrating my son’s life and I am very grateful for everything that everybody did," Brenda Murdock said.
When Brenda’s son, Matthew Murdock, ran the mini marathon last year, the event got off to a rough start. Severe weather delayed the race numerous times. And a few hours after the runners took off, Metro EMS tweeted that a runner went into cardiac arrest — it was Matthew.
"He collapsed into me," Robin Stinson said. "His head fell back and I realized looking into his eyes that his pupils were dilating."
Stinson, a nurse with Norton Healthcare, was at the finish line as a volunteer and started CPR on the 23-year-old runner.
"He has always been very healthy, and this came as a shock," Brenda said.
Murdock said her son ran plenty of races, so she was at home in Ohio expecting everything to be normal.
"The race director called me and he said, ‘Right now he doesn’t have a pulse or a heart rate,’" Brenda said. "He said, ‘I am not sure if he is going to make it.’"
Brenda said she had to trust that those at the finish line would take care of her son.
Stinson recalled it took two rounds of compressions and two shocks to bring Matthew back.
He ended up at Norton Healthcare on Stinson’s floor. Since then, the two families have spent a lot of time together.
"The fact that Robin saved my son’s life is something that only a mother understands, and that special bond because now we are united heart-to-heart," Brenda said.
This year Brenda will be standing next to Stinson at the finish line with 60 other volunteers, helping the runners with anything they need. She also said the plan was to have Matthew helping as well, but he recently moved to Texas for a new job.
"I am so proud that my son is following his dreams," she said.
Brenda also said her son is still running.