Marathons and risks

The first person to run the Marathon was said to be Pheidippides, a Greek messenger sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping. In additon to running the first recorded Marathon he was the first to die running a Marathon , he finished his run and and burst into the Athenian assembly, calling “Νενικήκαμεν ( We have won.’) before collapsing and dying.

Every year some runners attempting to run the Marathon or a half Marathon die. Over heating or failure to drink sufficient ae the cause. Sometimes previously unknown cardiac anomalies are the cause of death. Often there is no apparent cause.
As reported by Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times Sport section Thursday October 2nd 2009 a study reported at the American Collee of Cardiology meeting in April gave the risk of death in a marathon at 0.8 per 100, 000 runners. For the triathalon the risk is 1.5 per 100,000 , young non athletes 0.9 per 100,000, young athletes 2.3 per 100,000, childbirth 13 per 100,000, diabetes cause of death 23 per 100,000 . The risk of dying in a car crash is 1 per 6,700

Martin Eastwood
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