Regarding the Oct. 16 story, "Racers in A.C. Marathon accept the risk they run":

What a shame The Press chose to put a story about the statistically low rate of deaths during marathons on its front page instead of celebrating all those healthy and active people of all ages and ability who train to participate in such an event.

The number of men who die while shaving on Monday morning is much higher than all the people who have died during or after a marathon. Your story only serves to give the couch potatoes and our increasingly obese population one more (false) reason to stay in their seated or prone positions.

Hundreds of thousands of people successfully run marathons in the U.S.every year. There is a woman in New Jersey who has run more than 110 marathons, more than half of them in the past three years. She's about to turn 61.

You manage to devote a large amount of space weekly to people who cook, and presumably eat, vast quantities of food, most of which does not appear to be heart-healthy. Too bad you can't find equal space to feature people who regularly walk, hike, bike, canoe, kayak, swim and run to improve and maintain their own good health. These stories would serve as a great inspiration to others who think it takes a super athlete to get outside and get moving.

There's no need to join a gym to get fit. South Jersey's natural resources are abundant and the feeling of well-being that follows a 5-mile hike in the Pine Barrens would do a lot to improve the quality of life for many people.

So how about stopping the negative spin and reinforcing the positive?

VERA C. STEK

Green Bank