Profiling Collapsing Half Marathon Runners—Emerging Risk Factors: Results from Gothenburg Half Marathon
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonKhorram-Manesh, A., Löf, T., Börjesson, M., Nilson, F., Thorsson, S., Lindberg, F., & Carlström, E. (2020). Profiling Collapsing Half Marathon Runners—Emerging Risk Factors: Results from Gothenburg Half Marathon. Sports, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010002
Among several serious medical conditions, arrhythmia and heat stroke are two important causes of death during endurance races. Clinically, collapsing might be the first sign of these serious conditions and may mimic the more common and benign exercise-associated collapse. Several risk factors have been reported in the literature. We aimed to conduct a qualitative study to find a perceived risk profile among runners who collapsed and who were transported by ambulances to the nearest hospital during Gothenburg’s half marathon (2010–2017). Collapsing runners seem to lack the ability to make a decision to withdraw from the contest despite being exhausted. They feel the pain, but are unable to put meaning to their feeling, to adjust their pacing, and to handle other influences. Consequently, they do not overcome the problem or assess the situation. These individual mental characteristics may indicate a unique profile for collapsing runners. Pre-race health control and educational initiatives aiming at mental preparedness and information before endurance races might be a necessary step to avoid life-threatening complications.