Thursday, August 27, 2009

Erik Skaggs Hospitalized for Renal Failure After Record Run at Where's Waldo 100k

This just in - two days after his epic course record run at the Where's Waldo 100k, Erik Skaggs was admitted to a hospital for renal failure in Medford, OR. Those at the race said he looked good at the finish and was in good spirits. The symptoms apparently kicked in over the following 48 hours.

(Erik Skaggs at the finish of Where's Waldo, photo courtesy of Rogue Valley Runners)

Send your good karma thoughts his way, and let's hope he has a speedy recovery.

- SD


  1. Speedy recovery karma for a speedy guy.

  2. Ditto.

    What are the symptoms?

  3. Scary stuff. Hope for a fast recovery!

  4. of luck in the recovery.
    You're old NM bud,

  5. I'm no doctor, but what I understand is that the symptoms of renal failure are a result of the kidney failing to do its job (clear waste products from the blood, balance water and electrolytes, and promote red blood cell production). So you will see blood in the urine, weakness/lethargy and loss of appetite, and in some cases a shortness of breath.

    I remember speaking with AJW about his experience with renal failure a few years back, and he said it's quite apparent in the following 48 hours that something is wrong. A deep sickness in your mid-section and waves of nausea and pain.

    Renal failure is quite serious, so if you think you have any signs you need to get to a hospital ASAP. Uncorrected, you run the risk of coma or death. You are likely looking at a few days to a week of close supervision.

    I spoke with some doctors at an Ironman event in 2004, and they said it's possible that your kidneys would suffer permanent damage if you exercised to the point of renal failure. It's not always guaranteed that you can get back to 100%, and may be looking at medication and supplements for the rest of your life.

    Is it worth it? I'm sure if Erik, like AJW, knew renal failure was a possibility, he would have slowed down. I doubt anyone thinks a course record is worth risking your life or quality of health. I get the impression this is a limit you push once in your lifetime.


  6. I've also had "rhabdo" twice after Wasatch. I spent a week each time in the hospital. It is a very scary and dangerous condition. Don't let this happen to you! I was fortunate that I had no permanent damage. The Doc said I can never let it happen again. Bad stuff.

  7. At the present time, a fund is being established to assist Erik with the rigors of the enormous hospital bill. An announcement will be posted on the Rogue Valley Runners Blog when details are complete. Questions and good wishes can be directed there.

    Scott, I'm a little surprised with you, as for the public announcement of an incident that you know nothing about, some folks (i.e the afflicted, friends and family) would appreciate some respect and decency when using your blog to announce information that isn't your responsibility or business to disseminate.

    Ian Torrence

  8. Gee, Ian, a little harsh don't you think? The ultra community is very small and very caring of one another. I think Scott was merely trying to let us know so that prayers could be offered. Prayers do work...and my prayers do go out to Erik.

  9. i agree with Anon. above. I was glad to know, and have prayed for Erik. Thanks, Scott.

  10. I completely agree with the two anonymous commenters (why are you guys anon, anyway)? Thanks Scott for educating and warning us about this VERY real danger.

  11. Best wishes to Eric for a speedy recovery.

    Makes me kind of grateful my ability is just one of a "middle of the packer".

    Thanks for the post Scott, so that I can send prayers Eric's way. Prayer is powerful. It has helped me in some of my races, and in other areas of life many a time.

    I'm sorry if the family and friends got upset about the post.

    I took it that you really cared and wanted others who cared to know in order to say prayers for Eric and possibly help with the possibly outrageous med bill.

    (Wish we already had truly Universal Healthcare-then any outrageous med bill in this situation wouldn't even be an issue).

    Anyway, Eric, we are all praying for your speedy recovery. You are an inspirational runner for many of us, and for the people who know you, family and friends, I am sure much more important than just that.

    I hope you get well soon.

  12. OK. I'll out myself as anonymous poster #1.

  13. Wow Ian, that was harsh.

    My favorite part is how you used SD's blog to publicly announce that YOUR blog will be posting information about were to send funds to. Then go on to you state it's not SD's responsibility or business to disseminate information about a situation he knows nothing about on his blog.

    As a guy who is new to the ultra community, I read SD's blog because it is pack with all kinds of good info. Because of SD's blog, I might actually visit your blog to see about donating money for Erik.

  14. Ian - I apologize if mentioning Erik's dilemma felt self-serving. My intent was only to direct as much good karma his way as possible. I'm getting a lot of e-mails from runners, volunteers, and others who are much closer to the matter and speculating far more than they should - it would be good to have something on RVR as soon as you feel it is appropriate. Let me know when the fund is established, and I'll be happy to help raise awareness.

    I appreciate all the comments from everyone, and the healthy dialogue. It's hard to say what is best or proper for a blog to post, for it all seems to cross the lines of journalism, opinion, and personal matter. The points are well taken, but moving forward it's probably best to keep the energy focused on Erik and his speedy recovery.

    Thx, SD

  15. Any major athlete in another sport would have this info out pretty quick also. I feel like this was an appropriate post, and Ian's public reprimand was totally unwarranted.

  16. Scott,
    Never a need to apologize for caring about someone, whether family, friend, or stranger. I don't see anything wrong with your post. I would hope that someone would care enough about me to post similar comments if I experienced something like Erik.

  17. Hi, guys. Sorry to hear of Erik's illness. Never nice to hear of runners suffering from this condition and hope he recovers well.
    For those who require further info on the condition go to
    click on race information and then medical advice. Info was highlighted in the WHW race after a couple of scares in races over the past few races.

  18. A fund has just been set up to help cover medical costs. Please contribute what you can, send all good wishes to Erik and those around him, and pass the word on

  19. Looks like ibuprofen may have been a contributor:

    Running On The Edge.


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