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Who Is Responsible for My Safety at a Marathon?


The Indy Mini is one of the nation’s largest foot races and hosts a variety of events, from 5k races to the title half-marathon, to series of runs totaling almost 36 miles. With the sheer number of people involved every year, accidents that result in injury are bound to occur, and the dangers of running extend not just to slips and falls, but also to road hazards, weather conditions, and fitness concerns.

Sometimes marathon injuries are simply unfortunate side effects of the difficulty of the task. Other times, however, someone else’s negligence may be to blame.

When Marathon Injuries Involve Liability


Whether you’re participating in a race or an obstacle course run, you’ll want to be aware of the rights participants typically waive when they sign up to join a race.

Some marathon organizers include a release clause that holds the participants liable for any injury they may incur while running the race, whether due to physical limitations, damaged paths, or bystander intervention.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you’re always out of luck if you’re injured during a marathon. It just means that it will be much more difficult to win your claim and receive money from a settlement. Because of this, it will likely be helpful to hire a personal injury attorney who knows your state’s laws and precedents for public event injuries.

Other road race organizers purchase liability insurance that allows the organizers to offset the cost of personal injury or other lawsuits that arise from injured participants.

Preventing Marathon Injuries

How to best protect yourself from injury comes down to several key decisions.

1. Watch the Weather: Don’t race if the weather is too poor. Hundreds of extremely fit people have suffered heat stroke, hypothermia, or other conditions due to extreme weather exposure during a race.

2. Read the Race Waiver: Make sure you read the race waiver carefully to know what you will or won’t be able to recover from an injury, should one occur. Take responsibility for your own safety and make sure that if you are injured, it won’t be from something within your control, like the sturdiness of your shoes.

3. Be Aware of Fellow Racers: Watch out for crowd dynamics during the race. Since the majority of participants will bunch up toward the middle of the pack (not too fast, but not too slow), be aware of those around you on all sides. Their faltering stride could mean your slip and fall.

4. Watch the Road: Keep an eye on the road as well. When you sign the waiver, you agree to trust the race organizers that the pavement is free of major cracks or potholes, but remember, this is Indiana, and it seems like every road has at least one pothole per mile. Additional road hazards appear during the race, like crushed water cups, energy bar or gel wrappers, and even articles of clothing. Avoid these unknown surfaces as much as possible, and take care not to discard your own items directly into another runner’s path.

Guidance from an Indiana Personal Injury Attorney

Though race waivers can seem strict, there may be exceptions to seemingly hard-and-fast statements that an attorney can decipher and argue against. This means your marathon injury may be worth pursuing a personal injury claim over, which can help alleviate the burden of medical bills and give you a break during which to recover from both the race and your injury.

Call or contact the personal injury team at Hensley Legal Group if you’ve been injured during a road race. Our experienced attorneys will take the burden of paperwork and communicating with insurance adjusters off your hands so you can get back to what matters most. Your conversation with us is totally free.