AN RAF doctor who leapt into action when a half marathon runner collapsed said she was just doing what she was trained to do.

Squadron Leader Gemma Maynard, based at RAF Benson, near Wallingford, was running the Reading Half Marathon when a fellow athlete collapsed.

With only two miles to go to the finishing line, Sqd Ldr Maynard gave CPR and stayed with the stricken runner until emergency services arrived.

Once paramedics arrived, the doctor then carried on to complete Sunday’s 13.1-mile race, with a finishing time of just over two hours.

Our top stories

Sqd Ldr Maynard, who was running to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund said: “I am very grateful for all the support and positive comments from the general public regarding my intervention during the half marathon.

“In truth, I was simply doing what I have been trained to do.

“More deserving of praise and attention were the numerous bystanders and fellow runners who stopped to attend to other runners who were feeling faint.”

She added: “It was a warm day and many succumbed to the unexpected heat.

“Running at such an event is always such a humbling experience.”

There was no update on the runner’s condition available.

After the race, more than 1,000 people liked a post about the incident on RAF Benson’s Facebook page.

After issuing her statement, Sqd Ldr Maynard refused to discuss the matter further.

RAF Benson spokeswoman Nikki Hamilton said the doctor was part of the Defence Primary Healthcare Team.

She added: “Gemma is being modest and does not want to draw attention to herself.

“She was about 11 miles into the run when she saw a runner collapsed at the side of the road.

“Instinct kicked in and she went over to help – she could not find a pulse so she started CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and the runner started to come round, and she waited until the paramedics arrived.

“Gemma was among a team of runners from the base taking part.

“Everyone on the base is very proud of her.

“It was the talk of the team when they got back on the bus.”

About 4,000 RAF personnel are at RAF Benson, the helicopter base near Wallingford.

  • Do you know the runner who was helped by Sqd Ldr Maynard? Call the Oxford Mail newsdesk on 01865 425500.