marathonDeath and taxes are said to be the two things that no one can escape. I do not fully agree.

A person can stay away from many ‘direct’ taxes (e.g. income tax) if he or she tries hard enough. On the other hand, nobody can argue that we are all subject to indirect taxes anyway (e.g. the higher transportation cost as result of road tax).

None can argue that death is totally avoidable –  even the son of God, Jesus, went to see God the Father after he was nailed on the cross, as recorded on the Christian Holy Bible.

A few friends of mine are accomplished amateur marathon runners. Many of them ran the 2015 Hong Kong marathon on January 25, 2015. A record number of 70,000+ people participated in the event.

Some people may know that I am a recreational runner (I still have some day jobs – I am a full time father of two and a full time husband…) and many have asked me how was my timing in a marathon. For your information, that answer is that I do not know. I have never tried to cover 42.195km in one go. The reason is simple – I have tons of respect and fear of that 42,195m of distance, which translates into over 50,000 poundings on the feet.

This year the Hong Kong marathon did not start off well. The day was cool but very humid, about 84%, which is very hard for the perspiration and cooling of the body.

A 24 year-old man collapsed a few meters from the 10km run finish line. He did not finish the run and he died the day after. Another 49 year-old man went into critical condition approximately half way into the full marathon. He is not out of the woods yet.

This is the first mortality in the Hong Kong marathon since 2006 and 2012. This is a few cases too many for a supposedly fun/healthy event. The risk has actually heightened as many participants are non-runners or never-runners – it was just cool to participate, nice to have the goody bags, finisher souvenirs and the bragging right of running a marathon.

In my humble opinion, marathons are beyond the physiological limits of most human beings. It is common to hear of even highly trained runners experiencing ‘hitting the wall’ after 30km while the body is essentially out of easy energy resources to fuel the mileage. The body essentially shuts down! Even the shortest event in such a marathon run, being the 10km run, is no easy feat. A marathon is probably best marketed as a serious sport event rather than a costume party with loud carnival music and selfie taking.

Just like any school examination, it is not about the examination day. Rather, it is all about the preparation before the actual examination. A marathon run is not about the day of the event.

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