"This made me really think about how inconsequential running is," [Salazar] said. "I could be gone right now, and what would it have mattered? What was my life of 48 years all about?"
Alberto Salazar, winner of three consecutive New York Marathons in the early 1980s—as well as the infamous "Duel in the Sun" with Dick Beardsley—was felled by a heart attack on Saturday, June 30.
He had attributed neck pain the day before to "sleeping funny" on the plane; difficulty breathing he had pinned on a malfunctioning asthma inhaler; dizziness, to a bug. Then he dropped dead. Only quick action by some bystanders (to include the runners Salazar was coaching that day) gave him a second chance.
Mortality a fact about which boys think naught, but with which a man is confronted at various times in his life. If he is lucky, he learns some lessons each instance, thus staving off grim Charon for a bit longer. Crossing paths with Death is not a matter of If, but when. Salazar got a second chance; I can only hope to be so favored in my next brush with Eternity.