Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Can the kick at the end of a Marathon be fatal?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Can the kick at the end of a Marathon be fatal?

Possibly some of you may have heard that there were two fatalities at the Philadelphia Marathon last weekend. They were aged 21 and 40 and both died at or near the finish line.

In relation to this mishap, Dr. Lewis Maharam, the board chairman of the International Medical Directors Association said that he believes that the final sprint to the finish line can prove fatal to vulnerable hearts.“Runners are not bullet-proof,” said Dr. Maharam. One of the bits of advice that he gave was that runners should avoid caffeine–especially super-caffienated energy drinks–on race day.

No matter how young runners are, Dr. Maharam suggests that marathoners get an annual physical where doctors can screen for hidden heart ailments that may manifest themselves come race day. Though it seems like more runners are dying in marathons, Dr. Maharam says the absolute risk of dying has remained stable at one out of every 50,000 entrants.


rom said...

So its 1/50000

For the population of ireland if they were in one race would be 80 people.

Or 480 people per day if you have an average of 4 hrs.

Then if you multiply that by 365 to get a year.

Then the life expectancy for me is 77.96 and women 82.55 so lets round it to 80 years.

So basically your 3 times more likely to die during a marathon based on the basic stats.

Anonymous said...

A topic to bring everyone down to earth. I'm not a doctor, but have completed 5 marathons. My advice for what it's worth is to train properly and respect the distance. If a runner is capable of a 5 hour marathon, don't think you can do 4.30. There are no bad times in a marathon. Let's face it, 26 miles is a long way and a marathon shouldn't be undertaken lightly. Regarding the final kick : it's better to be a minute over a target time than dead or in hospital. There's always the next marathon to try for a PB.