Friday, November 24, 2006

Marathon Running Causes Cancer

Austrian researchers have found that marathon runners have a higher incidence of skin cancer due to sun exposure than those that do not run marathons. My sensational title aside, isn’t that a tad obvious? I mean do we really need researchers to tell us this?

A marathon, for those of you who have lived in a cave since before the Roman Empire and yet still figured out how to use the internet, is a long run (roughly 26 miles). They are usually conducted in the summer which means lots of sunlight—although doing it in the snow would add a whole new degree of difficulty. Training for a marathon can run (groan) up to 100 miles a week

The average human walking speed is around four miles per hour (source: Stephen King’s The Long Walk). My brother, Steven, is in the Army; his average two-mile run time is 15 minutes (eight mile per hour). The world record for a marathon is a little over two hours (so about 13 miles per hour). So let’s say the average running speed for those interested in running is 10 mph.

The fuzzy math above gives you about two and a half hours in the sun for the marathon and 10 hours a week for the training phase. That’s just time spent running, that doesn’t include mowing the grass, pushing your kids on the swing in the park, and taking in an afternoon softball game. Haven’t scientists been telling us that long periods of exposure to sunlight cause skin cancer for over two decades now? Was I the only listening? Do they really need to do a study on this?

Stay tuned. Next week they will release a study telling us that fast food causes obesity. Although, these are the same people who change their minds every five years about the health benefits of eggs.


Avatar said...

i am now glad to run at nights, i just hope that don´t causes something else...

Victor Allen Winters said...

The researchers suggestion was to wear sunscreen and run during the early morning or late evening. But my brother says train as you fight, or in this case run. So, unless you're training for a marathon, running at night is a great idea. I just think it is kind of silly for this to be international news.

Anonymous said...

Good idea. Let's not run.

I'm aso pretty sure 4mph is not the average walking speed for most people and I doubt that the average marathon runner is doing 26 5 minute miles.

And, yes, you were indeed the only one listening; everyone else was doing something productive, possibly even running.