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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stay Safe Out There

In a review of triathlon related deaths, cardiologist Dr. Kevin Harris has noted that sudden death is twice as likely during a triathlon as during a marathon. I had two good friends die in triathlons in the past 2 years, 2 of the 15 cited in the study. Bob Potts, York PA, died at a triathlon at the Jersey Shore last year and Dr. Mike Conte died this past year at a triathlon in Allentown PA. Barb Black will be running in the first annual Bob Potts Marathon on the Heritage Rail Trail in York on the day after our golf outing.

The critical factor in the whole phenomenon appears to be the swimming event, (or possibly knowing me!). In particular, it is the coldness of the water and its effect on the heart. Advice is to train in the same kind of water that you will compete in, not just in a pool. All but 2 of the deaths were during the swimming phase, and most involved oceans or lakes. Also, never enter an event that doesn't have defibrillators on hand. Many of the deaths are due to arrhythmias and can be readily treated.

Addendum: Doug Kent, Juris clan member of the Yanomamo Tribe, and Hunter Backenstose, 18 year-old son of Tim Backenstose, Yanomamo Chieftan will be golfing with the rest of us nuts in May. Let's hope they bring clothes.

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