Why Marathons Should Be Outlawed

Pheidippides, a young Greek soldier, ran just over 24 miles from a battlefield in Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. to proclaim ?Niki!? (?victory!?) during? the Greek war with the Persians.? Then, he promptly dropped dead, ?thereby setting a precedent for dramatic conclusions to the marathon,” ?wrote Theodore P. Perros in the Ahephan Magazine. ?Pheidippides may have been the first person to die from running the now infamous murderous marathon, but he wouldn’t be the last.

The statue of Pheidippides along the Olympic
marathon route in Rafina, Greece.

Joy Johnson, an incredible octogenarian, recently completed her 25th consecutive New York City Marathon. According to a report by CNN, writes Lorenzo Ferrigno:

Around mile 20 of the 26.2-mile marathon, at close to 5 p.m., Johnson fell and hit her head, [Her daughter, Donna] Graffis said. She was brought to the first aid tent, where responders suggested that she go to the hospital.

She ignored their advice, proceeded to finish the marathon, and hours later, dropped dead.

Joy Johnson preparing for the 2011 New York City Marathon on a local track in San Jose, Calif.

Who can forget the tragic story of the 30 year old, Claire Squires, who was a picture of health and beauty, until she dropped dead less than a mile from the finish line, during the London marathon in 2012. BBC News reported:

The coroner said she died of cardiac failure caused by extreme exertion, complicated by DMAA toxicity.

According to (The Telegraph) writer Murray Wardrop:

Her death was the tenth during the London Marathon since it began in 1981.

Claire Squires, before keeling over after running the London marathon, 2012.


?If Running Marathons Is So Healthy Why Do People Die Running Them??

Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician says:

Completing a marathon is thought of by many as the epitome of health. But every year there are reports of people dropping dead before they cross the finish line.

Some of the primary causes of death associated with running marathons are:

*Heart attack (most common cause) – typically caused by undiagnosed heart disease or genetic dysfunction of the heart.


*Hyponatremia ?low sodium levels in the blood, usually from drinking too much water

*Stroke or brain aneurysm

Dr. Mercola says:

Marathon running puts an extraordinary stress on your heart; research shows the extended vigorous exercise performed during a marathon raises cardiac risk by seven-fold.

So why do people continue to engage in this athletic endeavor? For fun? For ego gratification? Two-time marathon runner and fitness enthusiast Jeremy Wagener says:

The only reason to run a marathon is so you can tell people that you’ve run a marathon, because it’s such a ridiculously hard thing to do.

A study conducted by Simon C. Matthews et al found that:

28 People died between 2000 and 2009. 22 males and 6 females died during or within 24 hours of finishing the marathon.

Yikes! OK, so that all sounds pretty scary, right? Why would anyone in their right mind want to kill themselves running a marathon? In reality, your risk of dropping dead after running a marathon is actually quite small.? Worldwide, there are over 600 marathons held each year with some 551,811 American participants crossing the finish line, alive. A study done by Johns Hopkins researchers found the actual death toll is only around 0.75 per 100,000 participants.

Regular exercise is a critical part of staying healthy. The cost of not staying fit is much higher than one’s chance of dropping dead after doing a marathon. Think of the soaring rates of Type II diabetes, heart disease; we even have a new syndrome titled ?sedentary death syndrome!’ ?It’s so important in fact, that the First Lady, Michelle Obama has made it her personal mission to spread to word about keeping fit. An avid exerciser herself, she’s launched several campaigns nationwide, the most well-known of all being her ?Let’s Move!? initiative, to help fight childhood obesity. Check out the first lady in a push-up competition with Ellen, she’s pretty bad-ass.

It’s never too late to begin training for a marathon if you’re the kind of person who likes to stare death in the face and laugh. Just in case you’re that person, here’s a great recipe (and resource) for a natural, electrolyte replacement drink you can make at home, from Food Babe. So at the very least, you won’t drop dead from Hyponatremia.


  • Stir Sea Salt + Baking Soda + Lemon Juice + Maple Syrup into 8 ounces of Water ? This is a great natural remedy for serious endurance athletes ? You might think drinking baking soda is a little weird, but it’s been used for centuries to treat various aliments. In this case, it’s added to the mix because it makes the body less acidic and provides an additional source of sodium bicarbonate.


? tsp sea salt

? tsp baking soda

Lemon juice

1 tsp maple syrup

Stir into glass of water


Edited/Published by: SB









Moon is a nationally certified health and fitness therapy expert with more than 20 years of experience and education in therapeutic body work, corrective exercise, yoga, Pilates, ballet, strength training and conditioning, and nutrition. She has completed several marathons and half-marathons without dropping dead. She’s worked closely with many amazing coaches, chiropractors and physical therapists; including 6 years working in a private physical therapy practice and 20 years’ experience teaching group exercise and personal training. It’s her personal mission to give people the tools they need to feel and perform their best, create a pain-free body and live an awesome life. For more information go to: www.moonbodies.com