This weekend was a rather unfortunate one for runners. One runner died during the Chicago Marathon and another died during the Army 10 Mile race. The unusually hot conditions at both races were no doubt a causal factor in both these deaths.
Non-runners no doubt wonder how someone could literally run themselves to death. Most runners probably understand how this can occur, especially in a race. Racing, as any serious runner will tell you, hurts. When you race you are pushing your body and experiencing physical stress and pain. To continue to race, you have to endure this suffering and keep putting out a strong effort. This involves controlling the desire to stop and managing the pain. Unfortunately, the will of a runner can often exceed the limits of the body and injury and even death can result as s/he pushes beyond safe limits. It is, in an odd way, a testament to the power of the human will that people can push themselves to such extremes.
It is a sad thing that these two runners died. I did not know them, but running creates a bond between runners. We are, as the commercials said, different.