Are you fit to run?
Just wanted to sound off about a runner who turned up for our Sorbrook Challenge event yesterday, and unknown to us, was suffering from a hangover.
Needless to say, he collapsed, just a half mile from the finish and had to be taken to hospital. We take all necessary precautions regarding safety of runners, but we cannot take precautions against stupidity. A young lad, fairly new to running, been out with his mates all night - sheer madness.
I'm no angel, Ive done many a run whilst dehydrated from too much alcohol the night before, (and suffered the headaches and sickness as a result) - but Ive known when by body can't cope and have had to give up or walk.
Runners should never underestimate the strain and effort placed on the body when competing, or even just jogging, and take more care.
Its not big or clever to run whilst your body is already stressed - we must take responsibility for our fitness to take part. Its not the responsibility of the event organisers to assess fitness to take part, but sadly it is their responsibility to get the medical help needed when the inevitable happens.
Most people think that runners are mad - this type of thing just reinforces that view and gives health and safety zealots the ammunition needed to stop road racing altogether.
How hard was the race?!
Does the same thing apply to runners who collapse through heat exhaustion? or aren't fit enough because they haven't trained hard enough? Most people who push themselves too hard and collapse, are patted on the back for a 'good effort' - not slated because they didn't do enough warm weather training, or put enough miles in to be fit enough.
I certainly dont condone getting smashed then racing hard, but the kid fell half a mile short? I see too many people give up when the going gets tough, so i reckon good effort for trying to finish & may this be a valuable lesson to him. Like you said, we have all done it, but he was new to running and just didn't know when to stop.
There are hundreds of people who get carted off in ambulances every year from races, because they are not fit for one reason or another, i'm not sure how a kid with a hangover is that much different to some of them.
Also, try telling everyone that signs up for an ultra or ironman that they should only enter if they are fit enough and know they will finish without collapsing...
I can see Harriercats point, I shall add three letters....
Every year it is the same. HE is usually a local, tries to start out with the faster runners after a night on the booze (probably a drunken bet), after 500 mtrs stops in the middle of the road throwing his guts up, decides to carry on only to end up in the back of an ambulance after a few miles. Every year!!
It is this sort of behaviour that led to the disclaimer from the organisers of nearly all races: "I am fit to run this event, no blame shall fall onto the race organisers, blah blah blah..."
I sincerely hope that this lad has learnt, but what a harsh way to learn it. Hopefully, his mates will take heed too. I understand that they are training for a mountain event, so I bet they moderate their alcohol intake before competing!
that said, Extreme Muzzy is right, it will always happen, and in exactly the way stated.
We tut at people who work themselves into a heart attack, then push our bodies to the extreme in the name of fitness. Prevention is better than cure anyday.
Too many runners push themselves to the point of collapse, the key is to compete and finish.... collapsing is almost the easier option!
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