Thursday, August 9, 2012

Death of an ultra runner...


Ultra endurance running is not an inherently dangerous sport.  I can easily think of many other sports that carry with them higher risks for death and injury than running 50, 100 or more miles.  

Running...

…in heat
…on mountains
…in the middle of no where
...usually by ones self

No big deal!

Hmmmmm....

I guess I am as guilty of being a bit nonchalant about the danger as the next endurance runner. 

If I had a dollar for every time I cheerfully and dismissively told my wife the little white lies we all tell like...

 Ehh, the trail I am running is no big deal.   Heck you could drive a truck on it”!  This said fully knowing that I may be three bad steps or a trip away from a 300 foot cliff dive.

Or

“I felt great” when I actually felt like I was 2 seconds away from heat stroke.  (Ironman Louisville 2010…dehydrated, sick....I decided stupidly to run on people’s lawns figuring that if I passed out/collapsed I would be less likely to crack my head open on pavement. )  “No babe, the 100 degree heat did not impact me a bit!”

Or

“I am recovering quickly!”  Said to wife just seconds after I just hung up the phone with my doc….“Hey Doctor Dave, I have not pee’d in 3 days after XYZ race…when should I start worrying that I f-d up my kidneys?"

I would be rich for every one of these fibs told to my wife to keep her from being nervous…

Maybe a person begins to believe the lies over time. 

Indestructible am I!  
That happens to others.  
I know when to say when.

Then….

BAM!


Yesterday I opened up Facebook and got a cold water in the face jolt.

One of my running circle friends sadly reported he just had received some bad news that one of his ultra running comrades had just died in Death Valley on an adventure run.  Details were sketchy, but it seemed it was likely due to dehydration/heat stroke. 

There it is. 

Fate issuing a full frontal head butt.  

Wake up dude....that could be you or any of your friends.

There but for the grace of God (or not) go all of us who run long, run hot and run harsh. 

Be safe out there friends… The distance.  The heat.  The terrain. 

We are all one bad decision, one step or one sip away from it….

Me?

Taking it a little smarter from here….

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