After last month's horrors involving the death of a marathoner and hospitalization of hundreds of runners at the unseasonably warm Chicago Marathon, and the death of yet another runner at D.C.'s Army Ten-Miler, I was hoping that we had come to the end of tragedies in the sport, at least for a while (my sport... I'll be taking my chances-- and apparently I do mean chances-- in my seventh consecutive ING New York City Marathon tomorrow)... the running world (and the world) is shocked by the collapse and death during the U.S. Men's Olympic Trials in New York's Central Park of world class runner Ryan Shay after just 5 1/2 miles.
I am aware of at least two runners dying in races in which I have participated in (one a Staten Island Half Marathon, and the other a Marine Corps Marathon) but I don't recall a death-- or anything like this-- in an Olympic trial, where all of the participants are already elite athletes in obviously top condition, and Shay was a top runner. His death overshadowed the three Americans (Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell) who made the team.
Man. Condolences to everyone who knew and loved Ryan Shay. What else can you say?
Update: I finished my seventh NYC (and 18th marathon) in just a few minutes under 5 1/2 hours; as I continue growing inexorably older, being able to do these things at all becomes most of the fun... The race, in some of the best weather conditions I've encountered (mostly mid 50's and clear), was won by Paula Radcliffe of the UK and Martin Lel of Kenya.
As to Mr. Shay, it appears that autopsy results are inconclusive as to identifying a cause of death, for the former Notre Dame standout and Olympic hopeful.