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Marathon Weekend Ends in Triumph and Tragedy

November 07, 2007 03:38 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Over two days, the Big apple played host to the Olympic Trials and the New York City Marathon; the death of noted marathoner Ryan Shay, who collapsed in his bid to compete at Beijing, highlights the demands placed on each competitors’ endurance.

30-Second Summary

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Kenya’s Martin Lel came in first in the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:09:04 and Paula Radcliffe of Britain won the women’s title in 2:23:09.

Ryan Hall took first in the Olympic Trials finishing in 2:09:02, with Dathan Ritzenhein coming in second at 2:11:07 and Brian Sell in third with 2:11:47.

All three have earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic men’s team, which will compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

During the Olympic Trials, veteran marathoner, Ryan Shay, 28 of Michigan, collapsed at approximately five and a half miles and was later pronounced dead. Although his first autopsy results were inconclusive, Shay’s father believes his son may have died from an enlarged heart.

Approximately 125 athletes under the age of 35 involved in organized sports in the United States die suddenly each year.

In October, two events took place in very humid weather, the Chicago Marathon and the Army Ten-Miler, each of which saw a single death from exacerbated cardiac conditions. 

With each marathon-related death come questions concerning the safety of running so many miles, not just for the elite runners, but also for ordinary running enthusiasts. Yet, most doctors believe the health benefits of running outweigh the risks.

Headline Links: Kenya and Britain take first place and the Olympic Trials

Background: International marathons and the benefits of running a marathon

History: NYC Marathon

Related Links: The Chicago Marathon and the Army Ten-Miler deaths

Reference: Mitral valve prolapse, enlarged heart and heat exhaustion/stroke

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