SPECIAL REPORT: ARE MARATHONS DANGEROUS?
If running is so good for you, why do people drop dead during marathons every year? A lifelong runner, with help from the experts, finds the encouraging truth behind the scary headlines.By Amby Burfoot
Note: For more, including charts and useful tips, see the December 2008 issue of Runner's World magazine.
Most days, on my noontime run, I don't worry about dying.
Sure, my HDL ("good" cholesterol), which should be well over 50, is down in the basement (mid-30s), next to the late Tim Russert's. And my grandfather had his first heart attack in his 50s. And some people consider me a Type A personality. And I'm at an age, 62, where I've got decidedly fewer birthdays ahead of me than behind.
But my daily run offers so many pleasant distractions. I can check out my neighbors' gardens. Work through personal problems, consider a marathon, or simply enjoy the satisfaction of another workout in the bank. Running also taps deep into the brain's complex circuits-I never know what's going to pop into my head, the creative or the humdrum. (Notes to self: Start work on new book. Don't forget to pick up laundry.) (READ MORE)