Marathons the last two decades are very succesfull. More and more people are participating either for athletic purposes either for a cause.
Let’s start with the bad news though. For those who believe running makes you healthier there are some rather depressing recent statistics. Last year Ryan Shay, aged 28, running in the US Men’s Olympic Trials in Central Park was the first world class marathon runner to die of a heart attack while competing. One day later Mathew Hardy, 50, died of a heart attack just after finishing the New York City Marathon. A month earlier Chad Schieber, 35, died in the Chicago Marathon although he’d previously been diagnosed with a heart defect.
Then of course, back in 1984, there was the case of Jim Fixx, who is largely accredited with popularizing running with his 1977 book ‘The Complete Book of Running’, who died of a heart attack aged 54 while running near his home in Vermont.Enough to make you hang up your running shoes? Then what about Bhai Fauja Singh? Nicknamed the ‘turbaned tornado’, born in the Punjab in 1911 and now living in East London, he’s 100 years old, a life-long vegetarian who avoids alcohol, fried foods and smoking and weighs only 52 kg and is not only running in international marathons, but consistently winning them in his age group. And he didn’t even start serious competitive running until in his 80s! Kind of contradictory, no?