Shelly Banjo nearly died after running her first marathon.
The Wall Street Journal’s reporter for the Greater New York section, Shelly Banjo, ran the ING New York City Marathon last Sunday. It was her first marathon. Banjo had been training since May with Team in Training, a group that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She had joined the team in honor of her sister who had survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma more than a decade ago.
Before the start, Banjo realized she’d mistakenly picked up the wrong bib and was forced to start in a different corral from her teammates.
“I felt invisible among 45,000 strangers who came from around the world to run,” she recalled.
After ultimately finishing the marathon under four hours, exhausted, Banjo’s real “marathon” had yet to begin. Upon returning to her apartment, Banjo decided to take a warm bath. “The idea was to soothe my aching muscles with hot water, but the exhaustion and dehydration from the race was all too much for my body to handle. Standing up in tub, I fainted and knocked the shower curtain off the rod — landing face down in the water,” she recalled.
Luckily, Banjo’s father, a doctor, found her unconscious and without a pulse in the tub and performed rescue breathing.
“Scared and distraught, my parents demanded I never run a marathon again,” she says.
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