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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Running and Feeling Pain? Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Press To Finish, Go Directly To Hospital!

Extreme weather conditions are not ideal for extreme athletic competitions. 

This morning's New York City Half Marathon (13.1 miles, run in sub-freezing temperatures) is the latest example.

Two men suffered notable health calamities.  The first is noteworthy because he finished second, is 30 years old and a former Olympian.  The second is also noteworthy because he finished, and is still not that old (43), but collapsing, having a heart attack and stopping breathing at the finish line (and absent resuscitation, would have died) are all indications that the runner either ignored numerous red flags to reduce or stop all exertion, or has an underlying serious medical condition.

There is an old and tragic saying that sometimes the first sign of heart disease among the apparently very healthy among us is discovered only on the autopsy table.

PS: The author, Eric Dixon, is a twelve-time marathoner (26.2 miles) and has completed several dozen long races (10+ miles) in his 15-year running career. 

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