Friday, December 21, 2007

Marathon Save Lives

The last couple of months have featured two prominent marathoning deaths. The first happened during the October meltdown at the Chicago Marathon where extreme temperatures led to the race being shut down early and one runner died. The autoposy indicated that it wasn't the race conditions that killed him, though, but rather a pre-existing heart condition. The second was the surprising death of elite runner Ryan Shay around mile 5 of the US Olympic trials. Yet despite the press garnered by these events, running marathons is not only safe, but may actually lower the number of deaths.

There is, of course, overwhelming evidence that running has health benefits. But a new study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that not only is the chance of dying during a marathon slim, but that the number of motor vehicle fatalaties prevented by road closures drastically exceeds the number of people dying during the race.

If you don't feel like reading the journal article itself, the New York Times has a nice summary of the report.

This is good news for people like me who think that it's worth running in at-freezing temperature freezing rain to train for a marathon. Pictured here are my friend Jonathan and I after a recent run from my house. You can see the layer of ice that formed on the bill of my running hat below.

Speaking of which, here's my planned marathon schedule, which constitute the 5 races of the World Marathon Majors:

April 2008, Boston
October 2008, Chicago
April 2009, London
November 2009, New York City
September 2010, Berlin (click on the British flag at the top for English)

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1 comment:

Excimer said...

they should also do a study where they correlate the average number of marathons a runner participates in vs. their willingness to be tied up and beaten, and enjoy it. If runners are admitted masochists... you see what I'm getting at?

Also, owning a cat extends your live span by ten years. It's science!