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Runner’s ‘Death’ Is Her Own Inspiration

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 19, 2013
  • Updated Jul. 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM UTC

Her heart stopped twice after a half -marathon.

The News Tribune, based out of Tacoma, Washington, has an interesting story about Stephanie Arnold.

The 44-year-old mother can tell people that she’s died.

Last year, Arnold clocked a PR in a half-marathon but has no recollection of it. The reason: her heart stopped at the finish and was restarted by paramedics twice, who performed CPR on her.

The process took 30 minutes.

“My son Stephen told me I started with nine lives, like a cat, and I’ve now used two of them,” Arnold recalls.

The cause of the episode was later determined to be sudden cardiac arrest, which is strange, because Arnold, a mother of two, says that she’s been athletic her whole life.

After her heart attack, Arnold was put into an induced coma where and was placed into a cooling suit that let her body heal at 97 degrees.

“I wanted to run again, and I have,” she said. “And I want to promote heart-healthy living. I’ve done a lot of research, and there’s such an increase in heart disease because of lifestyle choices. We don’t eat right, we don’t exercise — and our children are dying too young.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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