Are half-marathons safe?

NY Times Well Blog by Tara Parker Pope draws attention, once again, to the issue of sudden death during recent marathons (and half marathons) in San Jose and Detroit.

We’ve seen similar articles regarding the spate of deaths in triathlon over the years. Is there something inherently dangerous about the marathon that leads to sudden cardiac death in a participant? The unfortunate deaths in Detroit suggest not because those occurred during the half marathon. Is it something about running then? Most likely not, as these unexpected tragedies also occur during triathlons, most often the swim. There are lots of unanswered questions at this point and this topic is certainly very interesting. I eagerly await a more definitive explanation from the medical literature.

When working with clients, we always recommend that anyone initiating a training program consult with their physician first, consider their family history and cease activity if they experience chest pain.

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