Hank Wolf's Story:

Heart Attack Survivor


Dayton, Ohio- Although Hank Wolf’s participation in the Dayton River Corridor Classic last year ended in a bit of a scare for fellow runners and his family, a lot of good came of it in the end. I had the great opportunity to speak with Hank Wolf, and learned a great deal about his life and experiences leading up to the race.

Wolf grew up in Buffalo, New York, going to high school in Syracuse and competed in a variety of sports growing up including cross country, tennis, and basketball. With that type of background, competitive nature was something that he developed at an early age. Later on, when he attended the University of Dayton, he didn’t compete in sports but he did remain active.

Fast forward some odd years, he had heard about the Dayton River Corridor Classic Half Marathon. Hank was motivated by having just turned 50 two years prior to the race, so he really wanted to be a part of the festivities. He had a stress test done, and the doctors and cardiologists gave him the thumbs up to run. He started to have training sessions, and he describes it saying that he "felt great".

As for the actual race, Hank says he doesn’t remember too many specific details about it. He just recalled that he "felt fine, and that it was a normal day." (Race day was actually exceptionally windy and runners battled a strong head wind for the last 6 miles.) However the day before the race, he did say something unusual took place at home. He was hanging out on his couch and he heard a lady screaming so he ran about a ¼ mile to check and found that a pit bull was attacking her and her dog. He also remembered that during that same week of work things were very "stressful" at the company. These events could have had an effect on what took place the next day.

After running the race Hank "didn’t feel too good." He collapsed. Two Kettering Sports Medicine Center doctors at the finish line began doing CPR on him immediately. Dayton Fire and Rescue responded and took over the CPR. When he got to the hospital, they told him that he could have possibly had a "mini heart attack" the day before when he ran ¼ mile to help the woman being attacked by the pit bull. The stress from work also didn’t help him too much as well.

The fact that Hank was physically active was a major contribution to his survival. The doctors at The Ohio State University even told him that "if [he] wasn’t in such great shape, [he] wouldn’t have made it." So in a way, the training that he did in preparation for the Dayton River Corridor Classic could have been a huge reason as to why he survived.

(We are looking forward to having Hank running with us again in 2013 www.rundayton.org)