What You Risk Reveals What You Value

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Events, News
Tags:

Man dies after completing half-marathon in StanChart race
By Wayne Chan | Posted: 04 December 2011 1717 hrs

SINGAPORE: A 21-year-old Singaporean died after completing the half-marathon of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore on Sunday morning.

The Organising Committee said in a statement on Sunday afternoon that he collapsed at the finish line at about 8.30am.

He was immediately attended to and sent to the Singapore General Hospital.

He died at about 9.30am.

The Organising Committee will assist the Police in its investigation.

Link

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Just a week after the Philadelphia Marathon where two runners died, here comes another sad news. I would have ran this race for my second 42K if not for injuries. It’s distressing that events which celebrate life have resulted in deaths. What happened here?

Was it the weather? I’m told that it was cloudy that morning, with the sun bearing down only later in the day so it couldn’t have been heatstroke, though humidity might have been a problem. Lack of fluids? I’m pretty certain the organizers offered plenty of water and sports drinks so it couldn’t have been dehydration, though one can’t count out electrolyte imbalance. Pushing too hard? Perhaps. The 21K runners started at 6:30am and if he crossed the finish line at 8:30am, then he might have been aiming for a sub-2. A lot of runners dream of crossing this time barrier. His determination was strong but his body could not take it.

This is no doubt a tragedy, not only for the young man himself but also for his family and friends, some of whom may have been waiting for him at the finish line. If it’s any consolation, he died while doing something he loves. I bet he never felt more alive than those last few hours of his life. He achieved what he wanted. He truly gave it his all.

On a few half marathons, I’ve felt like blacking out near the end. During my first full marathon, I’ve accepted the possibility that I might collapse and so I asked my family to be there at the finish line, just in case. I was committed to complete it whatever happened. It wasn’t simply a run. It was a symbolic personal victory. Every runner has his reasons.

That said, I run to reclaim my life and not to die. I have become more careful about my training plan and race day habits so as not to push myself too far. I have learned how to listen to my body. I still refuse to quit but I choose my battles wisely. Despite these measures, there will always be dangers on the road and on the trails, more so because I plan on taking up ultra marathons, skyathlons, mountain climbing and triathlons in the near future. All of them can be considered extreme sports where even veteran competitors have lost their lives. It doesn’t matter. Being out there beats being cooped up in my room afraid of possibilities. I could die once or I could die a little everyday in self-defeat. It’s an easy choice.

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Comments
  1. was surprised to learn about the incident. couldn’t believe it at first. though it wasn’t a far cry since there was a handful of runners who was sitting on the pavement, exhausted and some were shaking, and being fan’d by some of the marshals

    the water stations was just too far in my opinion. i was forced to carry my water bottle so i can have a drink in between. there was also too many participants or perhaps there were too few personnel manning the water stations. it was very chaotic and had to abandon one’s PR just to get a drink

    ill probably think again if i’d run this event next year. got good feedback about macau so i might try a full mary there 🙂

    • scout says:

      Hmmm… ganun pala nangyari sa sidelines. Kawawa naman mga runners. Siguro nga factor ang overcrowding. Aabot yata sa halos 40,000 ang participants and most of their staff were just volunteers. Buti na lang nagdala ka ng water bottle. Life saver, literally. Siguro mabuti na rin na hindi ako natuloy because of injury although sayang kasi mahal ang reg fee. Ganda pa naman ng medal. 🙂 If Macau pushes through, magbungee-jumping ka na rin. 😉

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