Few Utahns realize that they may have been "treated for injuries" by members of the same National Guard hospital unit that is on its way to support Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia.

For many years, members of the 144th Evacuation Hospital of the Utah National Guard have been stationed at the finish line of the Deseret News-KSL Radio Marathon and 10K to treat runners for injuries ranging from blisters to heat exhaustion.Using the races as a training exercise each year on July 24, members have been stationed at the northeast corner of Liberty Park with stretchers, bandages and medical supplies. A large National Guard tanker also brings more than 400 gallons of water to the finish line to make up for the lack of water in the area.

Last July, more than 2,500 runners, race-walkers and wheelchair entrants participated in the 10K, along with 400 marathon runners. Others serving at the finish line were members of the American Massage and Therapy Association.

Race officials have high praise for the guardsmen for their professionalism in treating the runners.