Aquarius 24, 2077, m249
After 7 days of competition in the solar system's most physically demanding sport, it isn't just the runners who get worn down.
The Marathon currently employs more than 40 staff; for every human employee, there are roughly two additional robots, so it takes a significant crew to plan and manage this event.
The busiest of this contingent is arguably the Medical Support Team. Consisting of 4 members, lead by Dr. Dwayne Pan-Onatam, they are on call 24/7 over the course of the program. What keeps them busy around the clock isn't just the racing, they play an important cross function for the games.
"My team's primary role is to provide medical services over the duration of the games," explained Dr. Pan-Onatam, "We are also charged with the responsibility of working with the Anti-Performance Enhancement Tactics Committee (APC). So, we work alongside our counterparts to monitor and detect possible infractions."
Competitors are outfitted with numerous sensors prior to race-time, including APC issued equipment that actively sample blood, sweat and urine. Though explicitly not publicized as part of the official game policies, there have allegedly been as many as 3 disqualifications due to some form of unsanctioned performance enhancement.
"These are actually very difficult to detect," according to Dr. Pan-Onatam, "But not because our instruments are not accurate. Many of the contenders are extremely clever in the technical arts, so they try to beat the system by hacking into either the hardware or the backend. If our analysts suspect any manner of tampering, I deploy a medic-drone to investigate first before sending staff."
But doping and other cheats aren't what keep Dr. Pan-Onatam and organizers awake at night. Their top concern is the safety and wellbeing of all participants, staff and spectators. So far there have been 25 reported injuries, most have been minor with challengers opting to defer medical assistance. The worse cases have included Ben Obalambo's concussion, Hannah Chao's knee injury, and Jamal Carter with a leg fracture. There have been other scary moments involving collisions, falls, and all manner of wipeouts, but fortunately there haven't been any life threatening incidents.
"Let's face it," said Dr. Pan-Onatam, "It's dangerous out here on so many levels. There have been almost as many DNFs due to EV Suits failures for radiation as those that have resulted from mental or physical exhaustion. We've never run a marathon of this scale before, so the next time they ask me, I am going to demand double the medical staff."