David Werner: How Running Saved My Life

4 12 2014

Name: David Werner

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired from Memphis City Schools/Substitute and Interim Teacher


David Werner began running at the young age of 47 and has since completed 29 marathons. After the St. Jude Marathon in 2012, David noticed he was having quite a bit of physical trouble and that his chest hurt. At the urging of his wife and daughter, he went in for an EKG. The doctor immediately sent him to a cardiologist who confirmed he had an irregular heartbeat and that his heart was only pumping at 50%.

Amazed that David had not stroked out or had more difficulty due to the condition of his heart, the doctor credited David’s health to his physical shape and athleticism as well as his daily aspirin regimen.

In August 2013, David had a cardiac ablation to burn out the misfiring cells in his heart, and he had to stop running for a period of time after the surgery. He was cleared to run in the spring of 2014 and immediately signed up for the MRTC Road Race Series to have a goal to work toward.

David knew his journey back to running would be a long and slow process. When the Road Race Series began in July, he mainly walked the 5k but was determined to be a Road Warrior and complete all 10 races, no matter how he got there. He quickly began to see improvement, and, at the Marine Corp Marathon in October, his splits were faster than his 5K time in July.

David completed the entire Road Race Series, including the frigid, rainy half marathon on Singleton Parkway, and he will be running the St. Jude Marathon with his daughters as his 30th marathon this weekend.

David is thankful to be alive and for his ability to continue to run. He believes his dedication to running and staying in shape helped prevent him from having more complications from his heart condition, so he plans to keep on running for as long as he can. David hopes his story can help inspire or help at least one person to stay active.



2 responses

4 12 2014

Very inspirational story, David. I hope you have a great race this weekend! Mark

8 12 2014

David is my big brother – when I learned of his heart condition, my first thought was ‘oh no – he won’t be able to run!! I can’t say how proud I am of him – running did save his life – thank you to all of you in Memphis who have encouraged and supported him through his recovery and getting back to the race!!! xoxoxo Bobbi

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