On July 30th Pavel Marosin was involved in a serious bicycle accident while training for the Hatcher Pass Road Race in Alaska. The incident left him with severe facial injuries, broken teeth and a massive concussion with short term amnesia. The remote location and severity of the injuries required a helicopter rescue, emergency reconstructive surgery, and eventual dental work to replace his broken teeth.
Why help Pavel
Pavel is well known and liked in both the cycling and running communities in New York City. As the Red Hook Criteirum running race director he has worked tirelessly to bring together the divergent communities of runners and cyclists in NYC. It is important that these communities help him during this tough situation. He has health insurance but the extent of the injuries, rescue, and treatment leave him responsible for thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills that he simply does not have.
Never Say Die
Pavel was in Alaska to compete in the Hatcher Pass Road Race which is a 70 mile dirt road race with 8000 ft of climbing through the wilderness. For a healthy athlete this race offers a grueling test of endurance and skill to complete. In an act of defiance (and perhaps insanity) Pavel competed in the race only 5 days after the accident. After only two days he brutally weened himself off of painkillers so his mind would recover in time to race. Because of the facial injuries he could only eat liquid foods leaving him severely drained for the race. With an extreme display of determination Pavel nearly won the race. Ontop of the big mountain pass with only 3 miles to go in the 70 mile race he held a several minute lead over the field. On the final climb, only a mile from the finish, his system completely bonked from fatigue, pain, and lack of food. Pavel continued on and pushed his body past the limit and into a 2nd place finish.
Detailed crash report by David Trimble
Julian Darwall, Pavel, and myself were riding a hiking trail called the Reed Lakes Trail in Alaska a few days before the Hatcher Pass Road Race. This trail is rocky with a collection of short climbs and descents. The trail is 7 miles long and starts at the end of a long dirt road off of the big climb to the Hatcher Pass area. The nearest town is Wasilla 25 miles away.
We had reached the end of the trail and were heading back. I was pushing it on a descent when I heard skidding behind me. I cleared the next set of corners and waited for Pavel. I turned around after he didn't show up for a few moments. I found him face first on the ground and struggling to get up. His eyes were completely glazed over and blood was pouring out of his face everywhere. He wasn't making much noise at this point.
It was immediately obvious Pavel needed serious medical help so Julian stayed with him while I sprinted to find cell phone reception. A couple miles later I hit the trailhead and found a camper with a women in it. I sent her down the trail with her first aid kit and continued on another few miles down the dirt road until I had a sight line into the valley and found cell phone reception. I called 911, gave the location and sprinted back. I intercepted the lady with the first aid kit who hadn't reached Pavel yet and made it back to the accident site. At this point I had no idea of his condition and had been gone for over 20 minutes.
When I returned to Pavel the scene was scary. Lots of blood and obvious signs of distress. Luckily Julian was calm and was arguing with Pavel about wether or not he still had any lips. It was hard to determine the extent of his injuries and repeated the same things over and over and over again. He had no idea what had happened or where he was. He kept saying he felt like he was in a dream. It was clear he had a head injury.
Eventually we got help from the women's husband who came with a sleeping bag to keep him warm. The paramedics showed up almost 45 minutes later. Waiting during this time was the worse. A group of responders hiked in from the trail head while a helicopter landed nearby in the bushes. Another 30 minutes of work by the paramedics and we strapped him onto a backboard and sent him off in the helicopter. In total it was over an hour and half from the time he crashed to the time the chopper lifted off. Thankfuly it wasn't worse. Getting hurt in the wilderness is no joke. Also thankful Julian was with us. If it had just been Pavel and myself I would have had to leave him hurt on the trail. The blood would have left him as bear food.