44-year-old Evelyn Ang was simply doing something she loved when she got into an accident that would eventually take her life.
Sadly even when we are doing something we love, the worst can still happen. Take the case of runner Evelyn Ang, whose unexpected death after being hit by a car while running is shedding light on marathon running risks.
The 44-year-old Malaysian marathoner and lifestyle blogger got into an accident involving a car on 10 December. She suffered severe head and jaw injuries. The accident also injured two other marathoners, aged 44 and 37.
Though Ang underwent 11 surgeries and was declared stable, she sadly passed away after two months of being in a coma.
Beloved runner’s death sheds light on marathon running risks
Ang’s husband Dennis Loo tells Malay Mail that she passed away peacefully at around 1:30 am on 1 March.
“She went off at her own pace despite the things we all did to help. The hospital did the very best for her and the doctors too,” Loo said.
“I will always say this is a race that she ran and she has crossed triumphantly,” he continued, adding how his wife was always a believer in positivity.
“She would always put on a strong front and she believed that every smile shown would be returned back. She would want everybody to remember her for that,” explained her husband.
Ang’s sister told the Straits Times six days before Evelyn passed away that her life had been prolonged due to a “miracle” following news that the family had decided to take her off life support.
Those closest to her fondly remember her as the “anchor” of the family, a woman who was always helpful, especially to her sister Angel who has epilepsy and Down syndrome
Her mentor and running coach Terence Poon commended the late runner for being a remarkable person and strong athlete.
“She was always encouraging new runners to run and run,” Poon recalled to the Malay Mail. “Her departure is a big loss to the running community. We will all miss her dearly.”
Though many questioned whether the marathon’s organisers had approval for the Klang City International Marathon, they will not be charged in connection with the accident.
As of this writing, the court has charged the driver who was responsible for the accident with reckless and dangerous driving.
Marathon running risks: What this tragedy can teach runners
Runners train practically every single day. They test the limits of endurance to keep pushing themselves to get better. But sadly, no one can truly anticipate when accidents can happen.
Here are some tips to keep safe while running
- Let people know of your whereabouts beforehand. It’s best to leave word with family and friends whether you’ll be running alone or as part of an organised event.
- Carry proper identification. Make sure you carry an ID and cellphone with emergency contacts, especially when running somewhere unfamiliar.
- Assume you are invisible. A good rule to follow as a runner is to “imagine you are invisible.” Always pretend that drivers can’s see you, so you’ll always be extra cautious.
- Make sure you are easily seen. Wear bright clothing or reflective materials when running later in the day. Some even use gear with a headlamp or bright blinking LED lights.
- Run against traffic. Running facing traffic gives you a clear view of oncoming cars and lets you dodge them accordingly.
- Adjust your position when needed. If you are entering a narrow street, transfer to the side of the road or the sidewalk.
- Make sure you hear your surroundings. Yes, music can motivate runners, but it’s best to keep the volume low or don’t wear headphones at all.
- Steer clear of accident prone zones. Problem areas include parking lot entrances, or bar areas. Anywhere with high traffic activity is a high-risk area.
- Be extra careful when running during odd hours. Some drivers aren’t as alert during early in the day or late at night.
- Wait for signals from traffic lights and drivers. Make use of your hands to signal where you plan to turn, like you would if you were riding a bike. Wait for drivers to wave that it’s safe to cross. NEVER go against traffic rules, even if there are no cars in sight.