Entries in Marathon (9)


Man Survives Brutal Beating to Become Marathon Runner

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Runners usually celebrate a race after crossing the finish line, but for Bryan Steinhauer, just being able to stand at the starting line is a victory.

Five years after a brutal attack left him comatose and unlikely to walk again, the 26-year-old Steinhauer will join thousands of runners during April's New York City half-marathon.

In 2008 Steinhauer was just a few weeks shy of graduating from Binghamton University when he was attacked by Binghamton basketball player Miladin Kovacevic in a bar off campus. During the attack Kovacevic kicked and stomped on Steinhauer's head, fracturing his skull in multiple places and putting him in a coma that lasted months.

Kovacevic fled the country for his homeland of Serbia, where he ended up pleading guilty to “inflicting severe bodily harm” on Steinhauer. He was sentenced to 27 months in jail in 2010.

Steinhauer’s recuperation has been arduous. Waking up from the coma was just one step on his long road to recovery. Due to severe brain damage, he had to learn to walk and talk again.

But it was his time in physical therapy that put him on the path to running a half-marathon.

“My first time running was in physical therapy, just trying to walk at a good pace,” Steinhauer told ABC station WABC-TV. “After my physical therapy I just kept it up at the treadmill at the gym. Then I came to the park, the beautiful park, and said ‘Cool, I’ll run here.’”

Running 13.1 miles is just the start of Steinhauer’s racing aspirations. This fall he plans on joining more than 40,000 runners for the New York Marathon, which has a 26-mile course.  He is also raising money for “Minds Over Matter,” a foundation he established at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to help people who have suffered traumatic brain injury.

“I’m a success story, I’m not a victim,” Steinhauer said. “So here I am to prove it to you. To prove it to the world.”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


World’s Oldest Marathoner to Retire at 101

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At the age of 101, Fauja Singh is finally hanging up his running shoes.

Singh, an Indian-born Brit, gained international attention when he started running marathons as a spry 89-year-old.  This week, after nearly 13 years, he announced that the Hong Kong Marathon on Feb. 24 will be his final race.

In a distinctive yellow turban and long beard, Singh earned the nickname the “Turban Tornado” for being devilishly fast, at least in his age bracket.  Singh set race records for his age group when he was in his 90s and in 2004 carried the torch for the Athens Olympics.

In 2011, he earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest marathon runner when he competed in the Toronto Marathon at age 100.

Singh credits his success to a healthy lifestyle that includes no smoking or alcohol and a vegetarian rich diet.

While Singh won’t be competing anymore, he doesn’t plan on completely giving up on the sport.  Instead, Singh is planning on a lighter daily routine, just eight to nine miles of running a day.

“I will keep running to inspire the masses,” he told the Times of India.  “Running is my life and I really would not have stopped competing if I had not crossed the age of 100.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Boston Marathoners Run Risk of Heat Stroke

Hemera/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- The Boston Marathon kicked off Monday morning under cloudy skies, but organizers have warned runners to put health before hustle as the temperature approaches 80 degrees.

The fiery forecast prompted an unprecedented offer to 27,000 runners that spent the last year qualifying and training for the event: a deferment.

Runners keep cool by sweating.  But heat and high humidity impede the body’s cooling process, according to Dr. Corey Slovis, chair of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“In temperatures above 70 degrees, the body begins to lose its ability to cool itself.  And once the temperature hits 80 degrees, people begin to suffer heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Slovis said.

Runners with heat exhaustion might feel faint or dizzy, and have a headache or muscle cramps.  If they don’t take it easy, the condition can worsen to heat stroke, a serious heat illness marked by a 104-degree body temperature causing confusion and even the loss of consciousness.

Staying hydrated can help stave off heat illness.  But drinking too much water can cause a dangerous imbalance in sodium and other electrolytes.

“It’s probably best to drink a combination of water and dilute sports drinks,” Slovis said.  “Mixing and matching is a great way to go.”

Slovis said marathon runners would normally acclimatize themselves to heat in advance of a hot race to avoid heat illness.

“But it shouldn’t be this warm so early in the year,” he said, explaining that many runners haven’t had the chance to train in 80-degree weather.  “I very much hope that people do well and we don’t see a lot of it.”

The Boston Athletic Association said it’s prepared for medical emergencies along the 26-mile course.  But runners should listen to their bodies and bow out before they need emergency care, Slovis said.

“Trying to run through a cramp or knee pain is one thing.  But if people start to have difficulty concentrating, difficulty with vision, or start getting a chill in the heat, it’s time to pull over to rest, drink and consider whether you want to continue walking or stop altogether,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


100-Year-Old Breaks Guinness World Marathon Record

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- Indian-born Brit Fauja Singh, 100, set a Guinness World Record Sunday when he became the oldest person to ever run a marathon.

In Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Singh, nicknamed the Turban Tornado, finished in just more than eight hours — some six hours after the race’s winner, Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara, according to CBC News in Toronto, Canada.

Singh only speaks Punjabi so his coach and translator, Harmander Singh, told CBC News, “He’s overjoyed. Earlier, just before we came around the [final] corner, he said, ‘Achieving this will be like getting married again.’”

Singh started running 20 years ago at the tender age of 89, after the death of his wife and child. Since then, he has run eight marathons, including Sunday’s. He’s broken records for various distances in the 90-plus and now 100-plus categories and carried the torch during the torch relay for the 2004 Athens Games.

When asked if it might be medically inadvisable to run a marathon at such an age, Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, replied: “Nothing you want to do is ‘medically dangerous’ at 100! Waking up and still being here at 100 is medically dangerous....So since you’ve beaten the odds, I say carpe diem!”

Though CBC News reported that Singh seemed weak following the race, he quickly revived and spoke to the media.

“He said he achieved this through the help of God, but even God must be getting fed up with helping him,” Harmander Singh translated.

At 5 feet 8 and 115 pounds, Singh credits his health with regular exercise, no alcohol or smoking and a vegetarian diet rich in curries and tea.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Marathon Mom: Pregnant Woman Finishes Race, Delivers Baby 

ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Amber Miller accomplished two monumental feats this weekend.

Days from her due date, the 27-year-old joined 45,000 other runners to participate in Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon and then gave birth to a baby girl named June hours later.

Miller, an avid runner, said she signed up for the 26.2-mile race before finding out she was pregnant. She said she never expected to finish the race.

"I was having a conversation with my parents and said, 'You know what? I have no plans of actually finishing,'" she told reporters at Central DuPage Hospital this morning. "I was planning on running half, skipping to the end, then walking across the finish line."

But Miller and her husband started running, and just kept going. They ran part of the race and walked the second half as her contractions started. It took the couple 6.5 hours to finish. She said she grabbed something to eat and the two headed to the hospital.

"It was very interesting hearing people's reaction," Miller said about crowds watching an extremely pregnant woman among the runners. "I've been running up to this point anyway, so I'm used to it."

At 7 pounds, 13 ounces, baby June entered the world at 10:29 p.m. Sunday, just hours after her parents crossed the finish line.

Dr. Jacques Moritz, a medical contributor for ABC News and director of gynecology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, said that while Miller's story was "outside of the norm," he did not think she put her baby or herself in danger.

Moritz said new recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists allowed a pregnant woman to do moderate, strenuous exercise as long as she could hold a conversation.

He said Miller, whom he has not treated, seemed to be in good cardiovascular health, was young and fit and ran throughout her pregnancy.

Moritz said that while she was not likely comfortable carrying the additional 20 pounds of baby during the race, "as long as she did not become winded during her exercise portion, the running part, she was fine."

"You have to be able to breathe," he advised pregnant women who wanted to exercise. "If you're not getting oxygen, the baby is not getting oxygen."

Miller has now completed eight marathons -- three of them while pregnant. She ran one when she was 17 weeks pregnant with June, and another when she was pregnant with June's older brother Caleb.

She said that it normally takes her about 3.5 hours to complete 26 miles. Miller said that after Sunday's grueling events, she just might hang up her sneakers for a while.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dog Raises Over $17,000 After Running Marathon for Cancer Research

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- In 2008, when his new family adopted him, Dozer the Goldendoodle was the only pup left in the litter. It made Dozer kind of an underdog. But fast forward three years to the day of the Maryland Half Marathon -- a 13-mile race for cancer research -- and this pup found his way to the front of the pack.

That was the day Dozer slipped past the virtual fence surrounding his yard as the marathon runners passed by. He got quickly caught up in the current at the 5-mile mark -- and kept up the pace for the remainder of the race, with people snapping his picture all along.

When he crossed the finish line, the bewildered pup with muddy paws turned to walk the eight miles back home, where he was awarded a finisher's medal from the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

Suddenly Dozer's life story changed. A Facebook page was put together in his name to raise money for cancer research. Donations came pouring in, as did the fans. He now has 2,500 friends on the social networking site and has raised more than $17,000.

While the wonder dog seems to inspire all and gives laughs to some, his run has benefited others in the best way of all. Diane Salvatore, 55, was just diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She is a direct beneficiary of Dozer's fundraising -- the more than $17,000 that the pup raised has already been designated to go toward research that will help her and others like her.

"I don't think he's last anymore," said Salvatore. "I think he's come in first place. Great job to be the spokesdog for this type of research that needs to be done for this kind of breast cancer."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Four Hundred-Pound Marathoner Finds Strength in Size

John Foxx/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Growing up in Idaho, Kelly Gneiting dreamed of running a marathon.  But his weight, which reached 245 pounds in college, pushed him towards football and wrestling, instead.

"I've always considered myself kind of an anomaly of an athlete as a big person," said Gneiting, who now weighs 400 pounds.

An athlete indeed, Gneiting is a three-time national champion sumo wrestler.

"Even though I'm big, I pride myself on being strong and tough," Gneiting said.

On Sunday, after only four months of training, Gneiting finished the Los Angeles marathon -- his second marathon in three years.

"When you do something once, people can think it's a fluke," Gneiting said.  "But when you do it twice, hopefully you convince people that you're just that person."

Gneiting set out to inspire heavy people to break down the barriers that stand between them and their dreams.  But in the process he appears to have also broken the Guinness World Record for heaviest marathoner, finishing the 26-mile course in nine hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds.

"I told myself, 'Even if I have to crawl, I'll do whatever it takes,'" Gneiting said.  "I wanted to prove I was tougher than the road."

After his first marathon in 2008, Gneiting pledged never to do it again.  But on Sunday he shaved two hours off his time, despite heavy rain.

"The bottoms of my feet looked like white hamburger," he said.  "There was a few times when a blister would burst and I'd feel it, and it just about caused me to collapse.  And then I'd think, 'Oh my gosh, I still have six miles.'"

Gneiting, who works as a statistician at Fort Defiance Indian Hospital in Arizona, said he wishes he was smaller but refuses to let his weight hold him back.

"I certainly don't like being this big, but to me it's unacceptable to have low self-esteem," he told ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Marathon Runner Eats McDonald’s Three Times a Day

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock showed the perils of eating nothing but McDonald's food in his 2004 documentary Super Size Me, but Joe D'Amico apparently never saw the movie -- because he's been eating Mickey D's three times a day as part of his training for running a marathon. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports D'Amico is set to run in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 20 after spending 30 days eating nothing but McMuffins, McNuggets, and other McDonald's menu items. 

D'Amico tells the newspaper, "My wife told me I was crazy, but I love McDonald's and I love running, and this was a great way to combine the two." 

D'Amico eats breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's, but hasn't gained any weight because he runs 100 miles a week. 

Filmmaker Spurlock famously gained 24 pounds and watched his health decline when he ate nothing but McDonald's for just 30 days.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


CPR Marathon: More Than Two Dozen Responders Resuscitate Neighbor for 96 Minutes

Thinkstock Images/Getty Images(GOODHUE, Minn.) -- It's not very often Dr. Roger White uses the word "amazing." But when more than 20 first responders tirelessly performed CPR on a dying man for more than an hour and a half -- and saved his life -- the co-director of the Mayo Clinic's emergency transport team said it was nothing less than remarkable.

In the tiny, remote town of Goodhue, Minn., where the population is less than 1,000, Howard Snitzer, 54, was heading to buy groceries at Don's Foods when he crumpled to the sidewalk, suffering a massive heart attack.

While the grocery clerk called 911, the only customer in the store, an off-duty corrections officer, rushed to Snitzer's side and began what could be the longest, successful out-of-hospital resuscitation ever. Across the street, Roy and Al Lodermeier, of Roy and Al's Auto Service, heard the commotion and hurried over and started CPR on Snitzer.

As news spread, the numbers grew. The team of first responders in Goodhue is made up entirely of volunteers. In total, about two dozen pairs of hands worked to the point of exhaustion to save Snitzer's life in a CPR marathon.  The emergency volunteers took turns performing CPR on Snitzer for a marathon 96 minutes until paramedics arrived via helicopter.

Mary Svoboda, a Mayo Clinic flight nurse who flew in on the emergency helicopter, said "it was unbelievable. There were probably 20 in line, waiting their turn to do CPR. They just kept cycling through."

To restore a normal heartbeat, first responders shocked Snitzer's heart 12 times and administered intravenous drugs. When they finally felt a pulse, Snitzer was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic. After 10 days, he was released from the hospital -- miraculously healthy, and incredibly grateful.

"My heart wasn't pumping anything, so the only thing that was pumping my blood was those guys doing CPR," he said.

Snitzer, a relatively new addition to Goodhue, reunited with those who worked to save his life on Tuesday at the town's fire station.

"I think it's the quality of the person," he said. "We're in small-town America, hard-working people. I happened to have a king-size heart attack in the right place and the right time, and these guys would not give up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio