Athlete, Interrupted

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

A marathoner completes a race through the Borneo rainforest, then pays the price with a deadly ailment.

The Borneo wetlands teem with darting birds, slithering snakes and dangling orangutans. Blood-sucking leeches and slim, coiled microbes also abound. Some folks find out about these guys the hard way. Mary, 46, was a longtime marathon runner from Southern California. She was in my office at UCLA Medical Center for a checkup because she was training for a competition in Borneo, a rugged rainforest island in Southeast Asia. Along with 304 fellow athletes from 26 countries, the petite, fearless blon…

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:

  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in.

Leave a Reply