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Should London Marathon participants run for cover?

Monday April 30th 2012
Press Release
20 April 2012

Should London Marathon participants run for cover?
14,697 people pulled out of the Marathon last year due to training injuries – are this year’s entrants about to risk it all?

Taking part in Sunday’s London Marathon is not for the faint hearted warns insurer Runners in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon may have raised a staggering £51.8 million for good causes but many participants paid a high price with their health. Last year, 341 runners received medical attention during the day and 47 were taken to hospital. 
Insurer warns this year’ London Marathon runners that proper cover could mean the difference between fast recovery and prolonged ill-health as the firm reveals that sports injuries account for the single biggest category of hospital visits
Barbara Russell, Head of Marketing,, says: "Last year more than 50,000 people were allocated places to run the London Marathon but only 35,303 people actually started and only 34,705 actually crossed the finishing line.

For many it’s the challenge of a lifetime and for those who don’t train properly the risk of injury is really high. Once you’re injured it’s important to get access to specialist treatment and with the average cost of a visit to a physiotherapist being £40 to £45 per visit many people simple can’t afford the specialist treatment they need." 6

Lesley Haig, a chartered physiotherapist in the Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Medicine at St Mary's University College, says that "injury rates can be as high as 90% for those in training. A majority of marathon injuries are normally caused by overloading of the lower limbs during training - especially common in less experienced runners. Injuries to the knee, Achilles problems, shin splints and heel pain are normally seen in the weeks leading up to the marathon. Around this time there is a significant increase in patients making trips to physiotherapists and other health professionals.

Barbara Russell continues: "Sports injuries were the top reason for visits to UK hospitals accident and emergency departments – approximately cases 352,899 in 2010-2011 – so it makes sense to have sufficient cover to ensure you have access to the right treatment at the right time. Without it, people may lose valuable work days and delay a speedy return to their favourite sporting pastimes."

What should people look for in Sports Injury Protection? believes sports enthusiasts should look for essential cover in case of injuries, including:
 cover for fractures, dislocations and torn ligaments
 income replacement benefit if your injury keeps you off work
 hospital cash support
 physiotherapy treatment
 dental treatment
 cash lump sum for a broken bone


For media enquiries, please contact:
Sarah Potter – 07833 095 594

Notes to Editors
About is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc - one of the UK's leading insurers. "Pinnacle Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".

About Cardif Pinnacle
Cardif Pinnacle (a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc) is the UK insurance unit of BNP Paribas Cardif, which is the life and property & casualty arm of BNP Paribas.

Formed in 1971 and currently employing circa 750 staff in the UK, Cardif Pinnacle has established itself as a leading provider of Protection solutions. Cardif Pinnacle acquired Warranty Direct and Direct Life and Pension Services in 2008, specialists in the provision of warranty and life insurance products.

With an emphasis on quality of service for clients and customers, Cardif Pinnacle is a preferred partner to more than 250 of the UK's leading Banks, Building Societies, Finance Houses and Intermediaries.

About BNP Paribas Cardif

BNP Paribas Cardif ( is the Life, Property & Casualty insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas. It develops savings and protection products and services which are distributed via diverse channels. Present in 36 countries, and with a diversified geographic footprint, BNP Paribas Cardif has strong positions in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

BNP Paribas Cardif is one of the top 10 European insurers.

In 2011, it had gross written premiums of 23.3 billion euros and 53% of its gross written premiums are generated outside France. It counts nearly 10,000 employees, 70% of which outside France.

In its commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas Cardif develops responsible products and services, supports diversity in the company, puts in place an internal environmental policy and commits itself into the economic and financial education.

Sports participation statistics:
• During the period October 2010 to October 2011, 6.927 million adults (aged 16 and over) participated in sport three times a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity;
• 14.759 million adults (aged 16 and over) participated in sport at least once a week for 30 minutes at moderate intensity during the period October 2010 to October 2011;
• Comparison of the 2007/8 (Active People Survey 2) and the latest results to October 2011 (Active People Survey 5), shows four sports (athletics, boxing, table tennis and mountaineering) have seen a statistically significant increase in participation rates 9
Virgin London Marathon April 2012
 Virgin London Marathon
 Virgin London Marathon
Sports injuries accounted for 2.2% (352,899) of all recorded attendances. These are most likely to occur on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Road accidents accounted for 1.5% (245,913) of all recorded attendances. There are peaks in the number of A&E attendances during the morning and evening rush hours. There are fewer road accident related attendances over the weekend.
Over 40% of injuries are muscular strains or contusions (bruising), 30% are sprains, followed by dislocations, fractures and lacerations. - The Health and Social Care Information Centre

Virgin London Marathon 2012
6Purus Active
Lesley Haig is an Independent chartered physiotherapist in the Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Medicine at St Mary's University College.
Hospital Episode Statistics A&E 2010-2011
9 Sport England - Active People Survey 5