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Monday, August 06, 2012

Too Thin To Win - Anorexia in Sport

One thing that delighted me about last night's Women's Olympics Marathon was the physiques of the top ten or so finishers.  None of them would have been over 50Kg.  Some of those African women are not more than a very slight 40Kg.  Light as they may be, these women are impressive physical specimens.  They are slight, thin, muscled, strong, fast and extremely durable.  There was no sign of the emaciated physique among them that is often present in the fields of marathon runners.

"Too Thin to Win" is the title of an e-publication I wrote in 2003 shortly after getting over the shock of learning that Helen Moros had died from heart failure at the age of 35.  Helen ably represented New Zealand as a middle distance track runner and was a team mate of my sister, Lorraine.  Helen died from self-imposed starvation.

The tragedy of anorexia in sport

Being thin does confer a performance advantage to the middle and long distance athlete; but there is a point beyond which any further gains are negated by ill health, injury and under-performance.  They end up running on empty.  Tragically, the athlete may be blind to any connection their under-performing and their "under-eating", responding instead, to failure, by further food restriction and even harsher training.

Watching these wonderful female role models in action last night has motivated a furious rewrite today of this publication about the unmentionable disease of anorexia within sport.

"Too Thin to Win" 

Is dedicated to Helen Moros who passed away at the age of 35 from anorexia-related heart failure. Helen finished seventh in the women's marathon at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games and won the national 10,000m championship in 1993, recording 32m 32.24s. She competed for the Owairaka club in Auckland and won the Auckland cross-country title three years in a row, from 1988. In 1989 she won the Auckland marathon title.  Helen ran with success in the United States, finishing third in the Chicago and Los Angeles marathons.

Please pass it on to others.  This is such an important issue and one not to be brushed under the carpet.
Too Thin To Win

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The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.

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