Let me attempt to answer your questions (Lily, please comment if you disagree). There are 6 points to consider:
1. Health. He could have a undetected, undiagnosed heart problem (here’s where Lily is urging everyone to go for a heart scan to determine the degree of blockage of our heart arteries) and when he over exerts (can’t be because the ST report said the joggers were running at their own pace), his heart could not take it. Again, his son said he ran 4x a week and had no known medical condition. Hence, medical reason is unlikely.
2. Acclimatization to the place. He arrived on Oct 1 2009; he collapsed and died on 26 Oct 2009. How many times had he run in this unfamiliar terrain before his fatal run? What was the weather there like? Lesson for us: Know your terrain and route well; 100 runs, 100 victories.
3. Too many worries on his mind when he ran. Worries kill the heart and can cause heart arteries to go into spasm. (The Hokkien word for worries is (frozen heart 结心; Choon Chiang, right or wrong?). Lesson for us: when you run, relax….don’t let your problems and worries wear you down. One the one hand you are running (and supposed to be relaxing), on the other hand, you are worrying (which send your heart into spasm). An example of collapse due to frozen heart 结心 is when a person, especially the elderly, hears a bad news on the phone, he or she collapses….the heart can’t take it…hence, it goes into spasm. Hence we need to know what were his worries when he was running.
4. Too competitive; was there a challenge between him and his colleagues although it was supposed to be “run at your pace.” We know competition, especially the unhealthy ones, causes stress and the heart can go into spasm under stress. Hence, I like the accolade you heap on me: “the slowest and the most relaxed runner.” (Side comment: Strange thing, when you fall into the extreme ends of the spectrum, you are likely to be featured in the media!!!!. The mediocre don’t get noticed.)
5. Other factors: only God knows……
6. Finally, for those who think things are destined…..it’s time’s up……very morbid idea though.
Yong Guan (dated 27 Oct 2009 0900hrs)