WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Hotter’N Hell organizers are preparing for any and every medical emergency that may arise.
This year though, the medical team has undergone some changes.
Dr. Keith Williamson has led a team of medical volunteers for the last 20 years but said it’s time for someone new to take over the reins.
“Doctor McGruder, who was then the director, called me and said ‘I’m leaving town; would you be the director of the Hotter’N Hell? I know you like to ride’ and I said ‘Okay’,” Williamson said.
For years, Dr. Williamson took part in one of the biggest cycling events this nation has ever seen.
That was until he joined the Hotter’N Hell Hundred team in a much-needed capacity.
“I was a rider in the 90s many times; in fact, my brother was one of the original doctors back in the 80s that was working the Hotter’N Hell,” Williamson said.
For two decades, Williamson served as Chief Medical Director of the event, providing medical support for riders.
“Every rest stop that is set up by The American College of Sports Medicine standards every ten miles, every five miles towards the end, has both a welcome tent where they can get fluids and a medical aspect where they can get medical evaluation and some services,” Williamson said.
Williamson said though, it’s time to pass on the baton and the person on the receiving end is Dr. Brandon Ohman, a nonsurgical pain management specialist and sports medicine physician who is overseeing about 1,200 medical volunteers this year.
“Because of the volunteers that have been doing it for years and years and years, they’re so supportive and they are able to fill in the blanks where you don’t know things, so it’s been seamless,” Dr. Ohman said.
As for words of advice: “The thing to cling on to is the Hotter’N Hell no matter what you do will come and it will go and you’ll get up normal the day after, the second piece of advice is comfortable shoes,” Williamson said.
“Have your cellphone on, laughter,” Ohman said.
“I was gonna say be careful what you say because I’m still around,” Williamson said.
Williamson and Ohman encourage riders to hydrate with water and electrolytes and keep the rubber side down.