RB69: Jonathan Hika - Surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest While Running At Disneyland

RB69: Jonathan Hika – Surviving Sudden Cardiac Arrest While Running At Disneyland


Jonathan Hika - Sudden Cardiac Arrest At Disneyland Super Heroes 10k Interview

Show Notes:

In this episode, I speak with Jonathan Hika, who survived a cardiac arrest shortly after crossing the finish line of the Disney Superheroes 10k in Anaheim California back in November 2016. Due to a quick response from medical professionals, Jonathan’s heart was restarted after nearly 5 minutes in full cardiac arrest.

We discuss Jonathan’s story, the lifesaving efforts, his recovery, and his reunion with the medical professionals who helped save his life. We also discuss the risks and research around sudden cardiac events such as this one so we can understand, what is the real risk behind running and these highly publicized events. Certainly the risk is real, but how does that risk compare to other potentially life ending events like accidents and illness.

While Jonathan’s story has a happy ending, a few aren’t so lucky.  While extremely rare, sudden cardiac death can occur.  Jonathan was lucky. He was in the right place at the right time as medical help was only seconds away. Due to a unknown heart defect, he could have been just as likely to go into cardiac arrest elsewhere.

Here is a picture taken of Jonathan at the Disney Superheroes 10k just before he collapsed:

Disney Superheroes half marathon and 10k


Here is a link to his Behind the Badge article that talks about his reunion with the emergency medical workers that saved his life.

Here is a link to research, as it specifically relates to marathon runners.

Here is a 2014 article from the Sudden Cardiac Death Foundation, titled: Why Do Healthy People Die During Marathons


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Steve is the founder and head running coach of RunBuzz.com. Steve is host of the RunBuzz podcast and founder of PaceBuilders, a complete online training program for runners. Steve is a RRCA / USA Track and Field Certified Running Coach and resides in Lewis Center, Ohio.