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Our Medical Team aims to provide you with the best possible medical care on race day but would also like to assist you in your preparation for the race by providing information to reduce your risk of medical complications or injury, either while training or on race day. Therefore, over the next few months, they will provide you with handy tips and other useful information that will hopefully help you to continue running safely and injury free during your preparation for next year’s race.

Congratulations on your decision to exercise regularly. This decision is probably the most important one that you have made to reduce your chances of developing any of the chronic diseases that are responsible for over 60% of all deaths in the world. These diseases are known as the chronic diseases of lifestyle or the non-communicable diseases and include blood vessel and heart diseases (including heart attacks), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus (sugar sickness), obesity, certain cancers, and many others. These diseases are responsible for a global epidemic that is greater than HIV/AIDS.

However, to exercise regularly does not necessarily mean that you will never develop these diseases, or that you may not have risk factors for these diseases. In fact, it is evident that more than a few runners may already suffer from one or more of these diseases. Therefore, safe exercise is the Medical Team’s main concern, regardless of whether or not you have these diseases or have risk factors thereof.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the team conducted an online medical questionnaire that was completed by approximately 2 500 participants in the 2011 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. The results of this survey showed that a number of entrants to the race already have existing heart disease (6 in 100 runners), risk factors for heart disease (29 in 100 runners), sugar sickness (2 in 100 runners), lung disease (23 in 100 runners), and cancer (3 in 100 runners). Also, a number of runners reported injuries in the 12 months before the race (51 in 100 runners), a history of collapsing at races (3 in 100 runners), or suffering from one of the most common medical problems in runners which is muscle cramping (33 in 100 runners).

The Medical Team

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