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RIP Tom Bassler

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RIP Tom Bassler

Post  Jack_Scaff on Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:59 pm

A great doctor, Tom Bassler, recently passed away. I had the pleasure to meet him once in Portland years ago. He was one of the view physicians that my father truly looked up to, and they shared similar views on the health benefits of long, conversational running. In my father's book, he recounts his respect for Bassler (this was in the early 70s):

Soon, our heart patients wanted to do more [in reference to having heart attack survivors enter a supervised program of running as a form of treatment]. But where to go from here? We had demonstrated that if you survived a hear attack and enrolled in a Cardiac Rehab Program such as ours, that a "heart attack is good for your health." During this time, Kenneth Cooper's book Aerobics was very popular, and Dr. Tom Bassler, an eccentric yet brilliant pathologist, promulgated the Bassler Hypothesis. It states that if a non-smoking individual was in sufficient good health to run a complete marathon in four hours or less the probability of that individual dying of heart attack within six years of completion of the marathon was negligible.

Bassler was the kind of guy that would walk from Palos Verdes CA to Santa Monica, then go on a 20 mile walk, then walk home. He would spend 10+ hours on a marathon course, stopping for a sandwich, and would wrap up half of it and put it in his pocket for later.

I don't know the details, but he passed a day or so before the Honolulu marathon.

Thanks, Tom, for the impact you had on our sport and my father. You will be missed.
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Jack_Scaff
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