AANA Updates

CRNA Takes Boston Marathon by Surprise

  • Apr 18, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2018
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Illinois -- The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) congratulates Sarah Sellers, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) from Arizona, who shocked the elite running world on Monday, April 16, by placing second in the Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 4 seconds.

Sellers graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, and became a CRNA less than a year ago. She works full-time administering anesthesia to patients in Tucson, Arizona.

Sarah SellersCRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, caring for patients when they are most vulnerable. Sellers mainly trained for the marathon by herself and had to fit in her workouts at either 4 a.m. before work, or at 7 p.m. after a 10-hour shift. Her training regime entailed running six days a week and up to 100 miles.

“Mental toughness is a hallmark of nurse anesthetists who attain seven to eight years of education and training, including more than 8,500 clinical hours, prior to graduating from nurse anesthesia school with a graduate-level degree. The pace is grueling,” said AANA President Bruce Weiner, DNP, MSNA, CRNA. According to reports, Sellers began the race conservatively before picking up the pace during the final stretch as other runners started to fade. She ran the second half of the 26.2-mile race faster than the first half.

“Being accepted into a nurse anesthesia program is no easy feat due to the limited spots available, and the didactic and clinical education requirements that need to be met are impressive. Becoming a CRNA is highly competitive right from the outset,” said Weiner. “It takes an incredibly strong and dedicated person to choose the nurse anesthesia profession—in fact, the same type of person who would successfully compete in a marathon.”

According to reports, Sellers said she has no intention of scaling back on her job as a nurse anesthetist despite her new-found fame. By mid-week she plans to be right back at the head of the table delivering exceptional patient care.

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Photo of Sarah Sellers at 2016 AANA Annual Congress, Washington, D.C., by John Fetcho