You Still Probably Won’t Die in a Marathon

Staff Writer
But it’s twice as likely if you're a man

From 2000 to 2009, the number of people who finished a marathon increased by 58 percent—from 299,018 in 2000 to 473,354 in 2009. It would follow, then, that the number of people who croaked during or shortly after said long run would have increased roughly…well, 58 percent. But this is, thankfully, not the case. According to the results of a study published earlier this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the number of marathon deaths has remained steady throughout the popularity spike, leveling out over the decade at about .75 deaths per 100,000 runners.

The study also revealed that the most common cause of death in marathoners over the age of 45 is heart attack, while cardiac arrest or an unspecified reason affected those younger.

While all of this is great for the running world, there’s one caveat: Of those who kicked it either during or in the day after, a whopping 79 percent were men. So guys, if you’re worried about your ticker (or your health in general), a pre-race checkup never hurts.