Monday, October 19, 2009
The Tragic Side of Running
By now, I'm sure you know three runners died on Sunday during or after the half-marathon portion of the Detroit Free-Press Marathon. Temperatures were in the 40s and the race's medical staff was on the scene in seconds in each situation. We'll never know if the three runners had heart conditions they didn't know about. We'll never know anything more than they died of heart attacks. I feel terrible for the families of the runners and for the Detroit race organizers who worked hard to put on a safe event. This isn't the first race to have deaths in the headlines this year and probably won't be the last. My good friend Mark Buciak, who has 30 straight Boston Marathons despite having open-heart surgery in 2005, has good advice. Get an annual physical. I have advice for race organizers. Do what they do in a lot of the European races; require a physical as part of the entry process or at least a note from a doctor saying that the applicant is in good health and capable of running a marathon, half-marathon or whatever. Comments???