Monday, October 19, 2009

Detroit Paranoia

I am sure many of you have heard by now. Three runners, two of them quite young, dropped dead at the Detroit Marathon this past weekend. Anyone else having trouble getting this out of their heads?

As soon as I found out this morning-- I googled news articles about the story. I also went to, and much to my dismay, there was only a brief mention of the deaths. An interview with their cardiologist/contributor Dr. Thompson filled in some of the blanks but I still have sooo many more questions.

At this point, the deaths, are a mystery-- even to the Medical Examiners. They've performed the autopsies and declared that more tests are needed to determine a cause. This is strange. If the deaths were merely "cardiac related" , which most seem to believe, the Coroner would have easily been able to rule that after a standard autopsy. What is a bit alarming is they need to wait for results of blood and toxicology tests to try and determine if there was something in their systems leading to death. The tests can take weeks. In the meantime all anyone can do is speculate and bloggers in Detroit are doing just that!

On (Detroit's major newspaper and sponsor of Sunday's marathon)the comment section at the end of the article is full of all kinds of allegations. From the obvious suspected causes: heart problems and/or over exertion-- to the more outrageous: "Tainted water" at the refueling stations...

"Tainted water"???

At first I thought it was a ridiculous statement. A far fetched scenario created by someone's extreme paranoia. But then I thought about it. Why is it so hard to believe in present day that some sicko would compromise something all of us runners deem to be a safe "bet"-- water stations at races.. Who in the world would tamper with that???


Who in the world, would attach bombs to their body, walk on a bus, and press the red button detonating themselves-- and countless of innocent others?

Who in the world, would spend years training to become a pilot only to hijack a plane, fly it smack into a building, intending to murder thousands of people?

Who in the world would hide along a highway-- and for weeks continue to shoot and kill innocent people-- fueling up their cars-- sniper style?

Paranoia-- maybe. But, 'tis the day and age in which we live for it not to be a sick possibility.

I hope that's not the case.

Any answer, really, that comes out of these three tragedies will be unsettling to all of us runners. If all three are natural? What questions will you ask your doctor? Or should I ask before my marathon? If it is-- God help us-- something sparked by a terrorist or other attention seeking sicko-- I hope they catch the creep (I have much stronger terms) and punish him/her accordingly.

Most of all-- My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these three men and hope for their sake-- the answers, whatever they maybe, come quickly!


  1. It's always sad and scary to learn of these deaths during marathons. My heart goes out to their families.

    As for cause, I'd like to believe there was an underlying heart condition and it's just an awful coincidence having three shocking deaths at one race.

    If you hear any more on the story, please keep us posted...

  2. It is pretty rare to have 3 deaths in one marathon. I try not to worry about it too much. Even if there were one death in every large marathon, your chances of being that one person would be about 1 in 20000, which is less than your chances of dying in a car accident on the way to the marathon.

    The chances of a non-runner dying while not running are so much higher :).

  3. That is so scary--tainted water--rumor here too--but I agree with just never know. One of the fallen was a local runner her in WV (he lived in Ohio). It is so sad because I just don't believe he was not in good enough shape to run--and I hate to hear this for "our" sport because now I have to keep hearing about, this is why you shouldn't run!
    I ran yesterday in tribute to them...because that is what they would have wanted...

  4. I agree wholeheartidly. Unfortunately, it is not out of the realm of possibility that some sick person(s)could have plotted this out.....we live in stranger and sicker times as the days pass unfortunately.

    However in a positive light this can help us to be more aware of our situations, bodies, environments. I don't think you are being all. I think these questions come naturally-it was truely tragic news.

    I will be happy once they have more information to share with the general public. I'm glad you wrote about this...thanks for sharing!

  5. I think the bottom line is that many many people are catching the running bug and taking on a lot of hard excercise without being cleared by a physician. And then those who may have been initially cleared are not having regular checkups to make sure they are still physically okay to take on the stresses of race day (my opinion).

    Now to answer your questions - (1) those are fried chicken livers (Yes yes yes. I know.), (2) the planning thing - I do that so I can get the CEO's (wife's) buy off on my schedule, (3) thanks for all your kind words! Fire those questions my way! I may not have all the answers, but I know people who do!

  6. It is certainly very scary Patrick. It's a crazy world we live in. Hopefully we'll have answers soon.

    I would say to anyone worried about running, get a full phsyical, blood work and all, just to be on the safe side.

    You'll be fine as this is very, very rare. It wouldn't make the news otherwise. I too feel very sad for their friends and family.

  7. Hey Patrick!! I'm baaaaa-aack!

    It never crossed my mind that the three deaths would be anything but natural. Your scenario is scary and, like you say, not outside the realm of possibility. Heck, considering the evil things some people do, nothing would surprise me.