Miles, Diabetes and What-Not...

Thanks for the continued comments about the Medtronic Global Heroes program. Here's an update:

For those that missed it, Jerry clarified my statement about Bill Roberts, pointing out that Steve Sterner was actually the medical director of the TCM in 2007, the first year of the "over 40" restriction. There's still some question as to the complete situation, as Roberts lists himself as being the medical director of TCM from 1985 to "present" on the resume I linked to in an earlier post. I also tried to contact Steve Sterner via an e-mail address I found for him. Alas, the e-mail was rejected.

More to the point, Bill did eventually respond to my e-mail. He wrote:

Running marathons with diabetes is one of those conditions that should
be decided on a case by case basis with the physician who is monitoring
and helping manage the condition. I am a big advocate of regular
exercise for all. We do not exclude diabetics from running the marathon.

My opinion was used to help set the parameters for eligibility in the
Global Heroes Program. My recommendation was based on the increased
risk of sudden cardiac death that begins to rise around age 40 for males
and is about 2x higher in diabetics.

Though I commend Bill for responding, his answer seems odd. My question was about the reason for a blanket ruling and he responding by saying that diabetics should consider marathons on a case by case basis, which is how I fully think diabetics should be considered for the Global Heroes program.

In my email, I'd also asked Bill to reference what studies he referred to. Alas, he didn't mention any by name. However, further Googling led me a study that discuses sudden cardiac death among diabetics.

So it appears - though I'm only guessing and I'm far from a doctor - that the ruling is based on linking two studies: the aforementioned one about sudden cardiac death among marathoners and this other one that discusses the link of sudden cardiac death among diabetics.

In future blog posts, I'm going to look closer at both of these studies and render my own opinion. More important, though, I'm going to ask those w/ more related schooling than I to offer their own as well.

In other news, I have opted NOT to run this weekend's half-marathon, deciding that even though I think I might be able to squeak out a PR of 1:32-1:33, A.I'm probably not in sub 1:30 shape and B.It's more important for me to be building my miles now.

To that end, I had a nice 13 miler on Sunday, tying my highest week of the the year with a 34.9 mile total. Curiously, my shin pain also returned, though very slight. It appears the 35 mile threshold is one I'm going to have to work to overcome. This time, though, I'm doing things different: no more than 3 days running in a row and no back-to-back days without recovery runs. I believe if I do that, I can get myself up to 45-50 miles per week, which is where I want to be when the marathon plan starts.


  1. Sorry for my confusion on the Medical Director of the Twin Cities Marathon. I have been told by someone who would know that Dr. Roberts is still the medical director. I was quoting an article which obviously had it wrong. Dr. Sterner may be connected to the marathon, or may have just been a doctor commenting on it.

  2. In case you're wondering, the Associated Press ran a story, picked up by a lot of the media, quoting Steve Sterner as the medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon.
    Here's a link to USA Today, but it was really all over the place.

    As happened last year, I have been assured that the Medtronic Foundation will review its guidelines for the Global Heroes program next year. Application is closed for this year.


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