The first ever Raleigh-hosted Rock ‘n Roll marathon was marked when two men who collapsed in the last stretch of the run, one between the 10- and 11- mile markers and the other close to the finish line, died.
The two men, aged 31 and 35, were both desperately given CPR by rotating emergency responders before being pronounced dead at the hospital Medical examiners said that the deaths appeared to be caused by natural causes, and that perhaps the two had heart conditions that hadn’t been discovered and so suffered a kind of cardiac event.
Derrick Myers, the man whose name at this point has been the only one to be disclosed, was an avid soccer player. His friend, Dileep Dadlani, was surprised when he heard the news. “He’s in fantastic shape and that’s why it was so shocking to see someone in the prime of their life just getting struck down by whatever the case might have been.”
The marathon released a statement showing their sadness regarding the tragedy: “Wake County EMS and medical personnel were immediately on the scene and attempted to revive each runner, but their efforts were unsuccessful. We are greatly saddened by these tragic losses and our prayers go out to the each of the runners’ family and friends.”
Long distance running deaths are relatively rare, however. Though 11 million people participated in half marathons and marathons from 2000 to 2010, only 59 cardiac arrests occurred, and of those 42 were fatal and 51 were male.