Optimism, that’s the way to go

A 55-year-old British man has died after collapsing just 50 yards from the finish line of the Malta marathon on Sunday.
Mike Freeman’s last words were, “next year, eh!” according to a tribute posted online by his wife.

24 comments on “Optimism, that’s the way to go

  1. I bet his salt, sugar, alcohol, and meat intakes were all low.

    Why anyone in their right mind would think putting this much stress on your heart is healthier than sitting in a comfortable chair with a good book and a glass of red escapes me.

    At some point the West took the wrong path and there is no sign of returning.

  2. @ SMFS
    Low alcohol perhaps but building up muscles requires protein so *not* low meat, the calorie-burn in training means runners disregard any idiot who tells them to cut down on sugar and his club would advise against low salt when training to run a marathon in Malta as that would be a killer.
    He got a check-up specifically over the risk a fortnight earlier: I wonder what his GP is thinking now?

  3. Sometimes this shit happens. He might have dropped dead next week buying a newspaper.

    I run partly for fitness but mainly because I enjoy it. This strikes some people as weird but I can’t bear being sat down for hours watching TV. People differ.

  4. I wonder if he was running for charity. While this may motivate you to train for the event, it may also motivate you to continue in the race when your body is saying “NO”, because you don’t want to “let people down”.

    This is one of my objections to the proliferation of charity entries in runs these days. Also, if a charity is a worthy one, why do people only give to it because someone runs thirteen miles dressed up as a shark? Why not donate anyway and running can get back to being a sport or pastime like it used to be?

  5. “At some point the West took the wrong path and there is no sign of returning”

    The West lost religion, and thus is now terrified of death. Everything the middle classes (who are far too clever to believe in religion and an afterlife) do these days is predicated on the idea that they can cheat death, if they just eat the right things, do the right exercises and enforce the correct H&S on society.

    So 55 yo men end up running marathons, and wizzing around the countryside in lycra imagining they are Bradley Wiggins, and demanding (via the electoral system) increasing regulation of everything. And even if it all works and you do live a few years longer, your body is fucked and you end up a bed ridden cripple for years, or the body holds up but the mind doesn’t and you end up a dementia case.

    Basically three score years and ten is our limit, and trying to grab anything beyond that is greediness, and will end in tears, as it currently is. The country is full of care homes stuffed with people who should have died years ago, and everyone involved (including them) would have been better for it. But we are afraid of death, so they must be kept alive at all costs.

  6. “I run partly for fitness but mainly because I enjoy it. This strikes some people as weird but I can’t bear being sat down for hours watching TV. People differ.”

    I left weights down my local gym; normally at least twice what the kids do who are half my age. I get tremendously hot, sweaty and breathless and I ache for a couple of days afterwards.

    I enjoy every moment of it.

    I only started working out when I hit forty. The challenge is the first couple of months suck and suck hard. Once you get over the hump however you do really get to enjoy it and miss it when you go a few days without it. I imagine there’s a scientific wonk somewhere who can explain it in terms of the Serotonin that’s released into the brain etc..

  7. When my surgeon asked me how I was going to regain my fitness after a motorcycle crash, I told him I could start running again.

    He exclaimed that running was the worst sport one could do for one’s body and joints, although it kept him in business.

    I took his advice.

  8. A singer I know refuses to believe swimming counts as exercise as “you don’t work up a sweat”.

    And people say drummers are thick.

  9. @ MyBurningEars
    Swimming is fine for fatties – those of us with bones and muscles instead gave up as children because we were almost guaranteed to swallow revolting (and, incidentally, poisonous) chlorine water.
    @ monoi
    Had he never heard of rugby, cricket (I still remember an analysis of sporting risk, carried out at the behest of some anti-boxing weirdos, which found the highest death risk was cricket – so they dropped it), riding (my wife assures me, with data, that it is far more dangerous than anything I do), jumping (high or long – each of which I quit after incurring an injury)?

  10. I run partly for fitness but mainly because I enjoy it. This strikes some people as weird but I can’t bear being sat down for hours watching TV.

    I love sitting watching TV for hours. I do lots of fitness precisely for this reason.

  11. @ Ian B
    You need a new pair of spectacles, even allowing for the tendency of those running a marathon for charity to be looking far from their best when someone take a photograph at the end.
    [At this point I should confess that the last time I ran a marathon for charity I had a stinking cold and should not have run even a 10k otherwise – the quality runner on the coach hired by my club tried to persuade me not to run and I finished in my worst-ever time].
    I see thousands of runners – they don’t look ill.

  12. Getting back to Tim’s original point – finishing the London Marathon on my 100th birthday sounds better than most other choices.

  13. I remember one Government expert who got sacked comparing the risks of taking ecstasy, to those of horse riding which he called equacy. Horse riding was far more dangerous of course. Though the same bloke was against alcohol, but then who on the Government payroll isn’t these days.

  14. @ Ian Reid
    If that was the *only* reason then that was just evil, but very difficult since the Victorians set up rules to protect civil servants from political vindictiveness. Of course horseriding is more dangerous, but so is mountain-climbing (as distinct from hill-walking), but no-one gives you a dose of steeple-chasing when you’re half-drunk listening to a pop band.

  15. Marathons are for those who like it easy, try long distance trail running. Locally there’s a 48 km off-road run in a few weeks, though this year I might just walk one leg. Done the whole thing twice, probably never again !

  16. @ Ed Snack
    Not solely for those of us who like it easy. Some tough guys do them as well. After my last good marathon, when I was 53, the star runner from my club (a mere 52) ‘phoned to check whether I had actually run because he hadn’t seen me and didn’t want to get a team prize under false pretences – *I* had seen *him* at the start but never thereafter – he beat me by around half-an-hour. His specialty was 100km and 100 miles, with a side-interest in fell-running.

  17. It wasn’t me. Although I’ve ran the Malta marathon and it’s not that bad – it starts from the highest point on the island (actually, I got bested by an old man in a wheelchair) and loops around the same streets about 40 times in order to try stretch out 26 miles. It’s about 20c at the min too, so it probably wasn’t any worse than running a summer time marathon in northern Europe.

  18. Very few people can have finished a marathon thinking it was doing them good. You do it for the challenge.
    __

    David Nutt was the government advisor sacked for telling the truth about relative risks. By Alan Johnson.

  19. I can’t imagine running for 26 miles unless I was being chased by dogs. That’s beyond the distance I’d go in a taxi and edging towards the point where I’d think about chartering a light aircraft.

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