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marathon runner dies

I was shocked to hear about Colin Dunne from Co.Offaly dieing from a heart attack in yesterdays Barcelona marathon!

Its scary to think that a 27 year old fit person should die like that.

A member from my local running club competed there aswell.

Does anyone here worry about this kind of thing happening?


  • bobraynerbobrayner Posts: 27
    Sad news; but my understanding is that the risk of this happening is outweighed by the health benefits of regular exercise.

    IE. for every fit person who keels over in a big event, there's X fit people who get to live a long & fruitful life without dying of a stroke / clogged arteries / whatever at the age of 55, where X is a fairly large number.

    I could try digging up some statistics if you want.

    I don't worry about it. More likely to be killed by slipping in the bathtub, or perhaps food poisoning after eating dodgy leftovers. Obviously his death is tragic news, but it attracts attention because it's dramatic, not because it's an everyday occurrence.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Very sad news indeed. A real tragedy.

    Without saying anything about this specific instance, at a statistical level, while there will always be these kinds of deaths, and, because of their nature, they get a lot of coverage, they occur at a much lower rate than similar (heart related) deaths in the general population - regardless of age etc.

    The health benefits of exercise always outweigh the benefits of not doing exercise - even though we might feel like we injured most of the time :-)

    There may be a debate that says that lower intensity exercise - walking as opposed to running - might be better for the heart, I don't think there is a lot in it, compared with no exercise. And racing is far more fun.

    There was an interesting feature in Runner's World a few months back on this very subject. Back in the '70s, there was a guru of Jogging - really started the craze - called Jim Fixx. He notoriously died of a heart attack in his 40s. The feature centred around this with an interview with his son. Plus lots of data about heart attacks etc. Worth searching out for. Unfortunately, I've sent my copy off to a friend in Ireland, so I can't check it out myself.

    Of course, if you ever feel unwell/strange, seek professional advice!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    How contrasting the reports & responses are between this & the Belgian cyclist that died earlier this year...sports image & all that.
  • The article jack is refering to had a statistic like 1 death in every 187,000 marathon runners.

    Also Jim Fixx dies at 40, but the rolling stones still tour??!

    (thank you Bill Hicks)
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Interesting point.

    Personally, I found that thread so distasteful, that I left it alone. Didn't want to dignify it with a response.
  • yeah i know that its a fairly rare occurance the last one before that i knew of was in a marathon my boyfriend did 3 years ago and yes its because its a big event that it gets media coverage.

    maybe its like was said above-to take it easy when your not feeling well and get checked by a doc.

    i know that the regular exercise outweighs the risks.

  • AndreAndre Posts: 103
    I'm not sure what to say, really, but I ran right passed him on Sunday and the paramedics were definitely doing all they possibly could... he was the same age as me and, although it's a tragic loss for his friends and family, all I can think is that at least it was quick, probably quite painless and he was doing something he loved.
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Theres been some articles in cycling weekly lately about heart defects amongst athletes, and they recommend and ECG and ultrasound to find any defects and avoid any problems with these
  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Moonshine brings up an interesting point. Large scale cardiology studies at Amercan Universities have found that between 1 in 350 to 500 students have congenital heart defects. Strenous exercise can bring on sudden and totally unexpected cardiac arrest.

    Similar finding have been found in Europe. I believe that some European countries sports bodies require participants to have medical tests before granting competition licences. This is often required for those aged 18 to 35. The test being and ECG .

    Since the start of 2004 in the US there have been some 25 deaths during triathlon competition. Of these 20 occurred during the swim phase. Victims ages ranged from mid-twenties into the sixties. All were in good health and reported nothing untoward prior to the race. Most of the deaths are belived to have been caused by congenital heart problems. With marathons the deaths are spread throughout the 26.2miles.

    Fortunately deaths are rare. Being fit & healthy does not give immunity. Try and get yourself on a first aid course - most employers are legally required to have them & will support someone who comes forward willingly - you may just save a friends life.

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