CHICAGO—Celebrations at Sunday’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon came to a crashing halt when one of the participants suffered from a runner’s high overdose.
Thomas Peters, 36, collapsed when his muscles ceased to function just before the twentieth mile marker. He was promptly carted off to Rush Medical Center, where he was treated and is currently in stable condition.
Peters, a self-proclaimed “marathon junkie,” has run in over 300 marathons during his lifetime, including 40 races in the last twelve months. Said Peters from his hospital bed, “The high that I experienced after the first marathon was just so incredible; I’ve been trying to match that feeling ever since.”
Rush Chief of Medicine Dr. Richard Dunn told the Flipside of the dangers of runner’s high: “Many people do not consider [runner’s high] to be as dangerous as other drugs like heroin or cocaine, but I have seen it ruin lives time and time again. What begins as a feeling of self-confidence and accomplishment can quickly develop into a life-threatening physiological dependence on exercise.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends combating running addictions with a process called “comparative therapy,” which consists of exposing addicts to activities more enjoyable than running, such as watching television while eating fast food.