Death after marathon: Don’t exert yourself to impress peers, say docs | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Death after marathon: Don’t exert yourself to impress peers, say docs

After the death of Stephen Menezes, 43, at a running event in Borivli on Sunday, Mumbai doctors have advised against “crash marathon running”.

mumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2015 23:20 IST
HT Correspondent

After the death of Stephen Menezes, 43, at a running event in Borivli on Sunday, Mumbai doctors have advised against “crash marathon running”.

“People often start going to the gym and doing heavy exercises to impress their peers. While the external changes are quicker with high protein intake, the internal lining of blood vessels does not grow at the same pace. When such people participate in runs, there is a vessel dissection because of high pressure. This leads to rupturing of the coronary artery, causing a heart attack,” said Dr Vijay Surase, cardiologist, Jupiter Hospital, Thane.

Compared to 3,300 in 2014, around 4,000 runners had to be administered medical aid during the Mumbai Marathon this year. The lack of fitness screening before such events is to be blamed for such incidents, said doctors. “A mishap cannot be ruled out even in case of trained professionals. But one can take steps such as conducting a cardiac risk profile to gauge vital parameters such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Conducting a stress test is also advisable. It is important to listen to the body and avoid pushing it,” said Dr Aashish Contractor, preventive cardiologist.

Doctors claim amateurs should not blindly emulate professionals, as they practice throughout the year. “I run thrice a week, along with swimming, cycling and gymnasium workouts. I get a regular health check-up done once a year to make sure I am fit to run the marathon. I also make sure I don’t overdo running in the marathon week and take care of my nutrition,” said Bobby Birje, 18, who participated in nine runs last year.

Despite the advisory, most event organisers just conduct rudimentary inquiries before registering participants for such events. “As part of the registration process, we take identity proof, blood group and emergency contact number,” said Karan Shah, manager of a sports fitness store in Borivli that organised the marathon on Sunday.