THIS is not to take up the danger of long-distance running, which fills medical reviews and newspaper features lately.

Look it up and you see enough evidence that it’s a dangerous sport, which is why organizers require waivers before the race.

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Many people settle for brisk walking at Asiatown I.T. Park or on treadmill at home. But the more spirited and adventurous want the race: from 1.5K, 3K, 5K, or 10K to 21K (half marathon) or 42.195K (full marathon).

The Cebu Energizer Night Run last July 10 was only up to 10K. In that race, a student, Alexander Landera, 19, of Danao City collapsed. He later died because of a fall from the Mandaue District Hospital where he was taken. He sprinted into the emergency room, rammed a glass door, then leaped out a hospital window.

Weirder still, Landera kept asking where the run would end, with a sprinkling of threats to kill the mayor, as if the politico had fled with the finish line.

An argument for the hospital is that it can’t be faulted as Landera was still not a patient.

He was outside the hospital? He raced across the ER hall and jumped out the window. He couldn’t be deemed a patient? He was about to get a stretcher from the hospital and was later treated for his injury after the fall.

Paperwork

The paperwork is technically what makes one a patient. Landera wasn’t one yet though he was being processed and was in hospital premises.

If the case goes to court, that question will be debated upon by lawyers. That may obscure the issue of public safety but will hardly dampen enthusiasm for long-distance running.

(paseares@yahoo.com)