In July 1984, acclaimed author and running guru Jim Fixx died of a heart attack while trotting along a country road in Vermont. Overnight, a nascent global movement of asphalt athletes got a gut check. Just because you run marathons doesn’t mean you’re safe from heart problems. Fast-forward 35 years, and Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray is amplifying that message for marathoners; so especially those who have coronary artery disease or a family history of it.

Marathon runners are healthy individuals

They typically assume that marathon runners are healthy individuals; so without risk factors that might predispose them to a cardiac event during or after a race,” writes Dr. Juan Del Coso, the study’s lead investigator; so who runs the exercise physiology lab at Madrid’s Camilo José Cela University. Running shorter distances, they says, might reduce the strain, especially in runners who haven’t train appropriately.

Dr. Kevin Harris, a cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital; says they has a patient preparing for the Twin Cities Marathon who struggle to exceed 10 miles (16 kilometers) in training. The man’s family doctor ithey get a stress test; so they wound up needing double bypass surgery to detour around dangerous blockages in his arteries.

Running is good, and we want people to be active. But your running doesn’t make you invincible,” Harris says. “The bottom line is that individuals with a family history especially men; so who are older than 40 and those people who have symptoms they’re concern about have an inform decision with their health care provider before they run a marathon.

Open-heart triple bypass surgery

In this Oct. 14, 2018, photo provide by Katie McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray uses a walker after undergoing open-heart triple bypass surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. McGillivray, a lifelong competitor, is cautioning people thinking of running a marathon to talk with their doctors before hitting the road, especially if they have coronary artery disease or a family history of it. (Katie McGillivray via AP)
Former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is 49, has says his own strong family history of heart disease is what motivates him to work out regularly and watch his diet. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks in their 50s.
If you’re going to take on strenuous exercise later in life, and especially if you have active heart disease, it’s clearly in your interest to test and make sure you can handle it,” says Dr. William Roberts, a fellow and past president of the American College of Sports Medicine.
McGillivray say his doctor clear him for Monday’s 123rd running of the Boston Marathon;  which they’ll run at night after the iconic race they supervises is in the books. It will be his 47th consecutive Boston, and this time, they’s trying to raise $100,000 for a foundation establish in memory of a little boy who died of cardiomyopathy—an enlarging and thickening of the heart muscle.