Top distance runner Ryan Shay dies during marathon Olympic trials

  1. Top distance runner Ryan Shay dies during marathon Olympic trials

    [​IMG] Photo by Jamie Squire, Getty Images
    Ryan Shay #8 led the pack in the 10,000 Meter Run during the U.S. Olympic Team Track & Field Trials on July 9, 2004 in Sacramento, Calif.

    Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday after collapsing about 5 miles into the race. He was 28.
    By RACHEL COHEN, AP Sports Writer
    Last update: November 03, 2007 – 11:53 AM
    NEW YORK — Top distance runner Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday after collapsing about 5 1/2 miles into the race. He was 28. New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said Shay was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m.

    "It cuts a knife through everybody's hearts,'' Wittenberg said.
    Wittenberg said Shay received immediate medical attention.
    "There were several layers of medical response,'' she said. "It was very quick.''

    Shay of Flagstaff, Ariz., hit the ground near the Central Park boathouse, a popular Manhattan tourist spot, during the 26.2-mile qualifier for the Beijing Games. The death came a day before the New York City Marathon.

    "He was a tremendous champion who was here today to pursue his dreams,'' said Craig Masback, chief executive of U.S. track and field's governing body. "The Olympic trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken.''
    Shay was a favorite going into the 2004 trials but was hampered by a hamstring strain and finished 23rd. He was the 2003 U.S. marathon champion and was third at this year's U.S. 25K championships. He also won the U.S. half marathon in 2003 and 2004. He was the NCAA 10,000-meter champion in 2001, the first national individual title in track for Notre Dame.

    Shay was the U.S. 20,000-meters (20K) road racing champion in 2004, making him a four-time national champion.
    His wife, Alicia, also is a top distance runner. She was a two-time NCAA champion and the collegiate 10,000-meter record-holder during her days running as Alicia Craig at Stanford. She and Ryan met at the 2005 New York City Marathon and they married in July. Alicia was hoping to make it to Beijing in the women's 10,000 meters.

    "My thoughts and prayers just go out to them and their family,'' said winner Ryan Hall, a college teammate of Alicia's at Stanford. "It's a sad thing.''
    Shay, who was born in Michigan and graduated from Notre Dame, qualified for the trials at the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon.

    "It's a big loss for the running community,'' said 2004 women's marathon Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, who once trained with Shay. "It's a day we should be celebrating. It has cast a pall. The distance running community is very close.''
    Jason Lehmkuhle of Minneapolis finished fifth in the trials today.
    AP Sports Writer Melissa Murphy in New York contributed to this story.



  2. oh that's horrible :sad: he was so young. I wonder what happened.
  3. I rememer him from school (I went to ND around the same time). So sad...
  4. So very sad, but not uncommon for hardcore runners to die younger than average. My dad stopped marathoning for that reason. Our bodies just aren't designed to do it.
  5. Sorry this hits so close to home:sad:
  6. awfully sad :sad:
  7. OMG how horrible!
  8. Yes unfortunately, it's not completely uncommon for young, incredibly fit people to just drop dead

    It's incredibly sad
  9. curious why there is no mention of a cause of his death?
  10. that's terrible :sad: i wonder what happened exactly!

  11. They are probably waiting for the autopsy reports to be completed. Normally there is no natural reason for a man this young and fit to drop dead like this.

    My prayers to his friends and family.

    As a side note, Jim Fixx, the man who pioneered running as a hobby, also died relatively young, age 44, while out jogging.
  12. That's terrible...he was so young. I honestly can't comprehend how someone could just drop dead like that.
  13. I heard today he died of an enlarged heart. And they have only been married 4 months :sad: