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Editor,—In the early sixties I established a record for the running ascent of Kilimanjaro (19 340 feet (5985 m)) of 6 hours and 48 minutes, and my colleague (and current London marathoner) Norman Myers ran up and down the same mountain (36 miles) in 13 hours and 20 minutes, both from a start of around 6000 feet (1828 m), and both of us unaccompanied. We also lived for six and 25 years respectively at altitudes varying from 5200 feet (1600 m) to 7000 feet (2100 m). Neither of us gave any of this much thought. However, on reading today's issue of the journal, in particular Buckler and O'Higgins1 on medical provision for a downhill marathon (which started at a mere 5184 m), and Bailey et al2 on worries about glutamine and immune status (in a group spending a mere four weeks at 1640 m), I am not in the slightest detracting from such highly interesting and important work, when I humorously observe that I am simply glad such data were not available before we set foot in East Africa!!
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