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Runner who collapsed returns to race a year later to thank rescuers

Mark Smith.jpg
Posted at 11:58 PM, Jun 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-12 02:19:32-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — His heart stopped beating for 24 minutes. If it hadn't been for the kindness and quick thinking of strangers, Mark Smith might not be alive today.

Smith suffered a heart attack during the Garden of the Gods Trail Run last summer. Fellow race participants came to his aid, performing chest compressions for those critical minutes to keep his blood flowing until paramedics could reach him with an Automated Externa Defibrillator (AED).

Smith returned to the race on Saturday to share his gratitude with fellow participants who came to his aid.

"It's wonderful to have the opportunity to say 'Thank you,' it's just…that's one of the great parts of being alive is to say thank you," he said.

Smith's story inspired many other runners to participate in the trail run this year. The group celebrated with a small fair, an awards ceremony and pizza.
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