Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mrs. Linklater -- Your Weekend Sports Anchor

This weekend another marathon runner died.

For those of you not keeping tabs on dead runners, last month a police officer from Michigan died while running in the Chicago Marathon. Boy did the New York Marathon organizers gloat over that one. That won't happen to us because we're New York.

Sure it was unusually hot for the Chicago Marathon. Sure they canceled the race after three hours. Sure it was a PR nightmare. But the guy had a prolapsed mitral valve, which you can live with on medication, but you can die with it. too. He had a defective pumper and he caused major stress to it by running in the heat. Whose fault is that? The docs who cleared him to race? The weatherman? I smell accountability.

His death was probably a good indication that he should have stayed home.
His family now has a lawyer [quelle shock!!] who is accusing the ambulance and the responding EMTs of getting lost on the way to the hospital.

Yesterday, an elite marathoner hoping to qualify for the Olympics died while running in New York. So nanananana New York, someone died on your watch too. Okay, he wasn't running in the actual New York Marathon. He was running in the Olympic Qualifier Marathon, also in New York. But he died.

I don't know why they held the Olympic qualifier the day before today's yearly marathon for everybody else. Were they trying to save on paper cups? The guy who died had only run five miles before he collapsed. The reports at first said he was healthy.


Well, he wasn't. He'd had an enlarged heart from the time he was thirteen. I didn't hear all the details, but he was cleared to compete by his docs. Is there an echo in here? People should remember that a doctor's opinion is just his opinion. An educated guess.  If something's wrong with your heart, taking it out for a marathon run is probably not a good idea, since you could die. Have I mentioned that your life could be interrupted? Finished, caput, toodaloo?


Think of all the football players the docs cleared to start after concussions. Who now spend their fifties wondering where the toilet paper is.

The kind of enlarged heart the New York runner had wasn't made clear. Was it just large and athletic, which can be a good thing, particularly in an elite runner, giving him a huge competitive edge?  Or was it big and flabby from a defect or disease?  Did the docs think the guy had one thing and it turned out to be another? I have two dead friends who made the mistake of being elite athletes. The docs thought their enlarged hearts were big, healthy "athletic" hearts, when they were actually sick and dying.

I have the feeling that the young man who just died may have been the victim of doctors who were trying to be good guys and not stop him from following his dream of making the Olympics.  Or he may have been misdiagnosed. I'm sure his family will soon hire attorneys who will find a reason to sue somebody.


A Kenyan won the men's side of the New York Marathon. Not the Olympic qualifier. A Kenyan won the Chicago race, too, I believe. Kenyans and Moroccans win most of the marathons. Not only do Kenyans live at a very high altitude, which gives them an advantage competing at sea level, but I just read that most of them start as kids, running from eight to ten miles to school every day. Someone said the way to give Americans a chance to win after almost two decades of being also rans is simple:  just send school buses to Kenya.

There are plenty of excellent female marathoners from Africa, too, but Paula Radcliffe, who is English, won today. Somehow the Brits have cracked the code. At least she has. I think she has won most of the marathons she enters and holds a record or two. I do know that she sat down on a curb and quit during the hot and humid 2004 Olympic marathon when it became clear that she couldn't win a medal. At least, it seemed that way to me. So she's not a machine or anything. She also likes to lead from the start, which is unusual in a long race.

Enough about New York, now Mrs. Linklater wants to talk football: Notre Dame loses to Navy after 230 years? In triple overtime?  Earth to Charley Weis -- hasta la bye bye.

Oregon beats ASU. Sorry Remo.

Okay haul up the anchor, the weekend sports report is over.

1 comment:

screaminremo303 said...

A marathon seems like a lot of work to make yourself tired, dehydrated and sore. Didn't they ever hear of a weekend in Las Vegas? Bummer in Eugene for the Sun Devils. We can still run the table and probably still spend New Year's Eve ruining the bed linens in a hotel room in Pasadena.