Tag Archives: Ryan Shay

Triathlons Twice as Deadly as Marathon

Dr Kevin Harris

Dr Kevin Harris

A recent study by the Minneapolis Heart Institute provides data that twice as many people die, per million during triathlons than marathons.

The Pioneer Press reported on Dr Harris’ research:

Marathon-related deaths made headlines in November 2007 when 28-year-old Ryan Shay died while competing in New York in the men’s marathon Olympic trials. Statistics show that for every million participants in these 26.2-mile running races, there will be four to eight deaths.The rate for triathletes is far higher –15 out of a million, the new study shows. Almost all occurred during the swim portion, usually the first event.

That most triathlon deaths occur during the swim portion of the event makes sense.  Any injury or fatigue in the water could create a potential drowning incident.  Both events are still relatively safe, in a 33 month period 14 triathletes died out of a total of 922,000 competitors.

Out of the 14 athletes, 6 were autopsied and four of those had documentable pre-exsisting heart conditions.  The water temperature and stress of competition can exasperacte these conditions.  A normal heart may also react negatively in these situations as well.

Their advice:

Doctors offer these tips to anyone considering a triathlon:

—Get a checkup to make sure you don’t have hidden heart problems.

—Train adequately long before the event, including open-water swims — not just in pools.

—Acclimate yourself to the water temperature shortly before a race, and wear a wetsuit if it’s too cold.

—Make sure the race has medical staff and defibrillators on site.

[tags] Triathlon, Marathon, Heart, Heart Research [/tags]

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Olympic Trials: Triumph and Tragedy

In an amazing performance early Saturday morning, Ryan Hall shattered the Olympic Marathon Trials record in an amazing 6 mile breakaway to finish in 2:09:02 (4:55).  He finished over 2 minutes ahead of his soon to be teammate Dathan Ritzenhein who broke away and finished in 2:11:07 (5:00).  Third place was captured by Brooks-Hanson standout Brian Sells who finished in 2:11:40 (5:01).  Khalid Khannouchi was able to hang on to fourth place and will the alternate for the US Olympic Marathon team going into the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

What should have been a day of celebration for US Distance Running and young American athletes, was also a day of mourning the loss of a friend.  Ryan Shay collapsed on the course at about 5 1/2 miles into the race.  According to various reports spectators quickly administered CPR and the EMT’s arrived quickly, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital.  Our hearts go out to his wife of 4 months, his family, and friends which includes Ryan Hall.  Officials are still unsure of what actually caused him to collapse and we’ll likely not know for at least a week according to ESPN.  You can read Shay’s pre-race bio here.

Indiana Connections

Kyle Baker was a graduate of Highland High School, he ran a 2:31:37 (5:47) on Saturday placing 94th.  Kyle, 31, now lives in Grand Rapids, MI. Kyle qualified for the trials during last October’s Twin Cities Marathon running a 2:21:02. Baker has earned accolades as Michigan Runner’s Male Runner of the Year in 2003 and 2002 not to mention an impressive collegiate resume which includes several All-American and Big-Ten titles.  Baker was also profiled in a December 2002 issue of Running Times.

Cecil Franke, 39 from Dublin Indiana, competed in the trials and ran a 2:25:01 (5:32) placing 67th.  Cecil ran a 2:20:43 at this spring’s Boston Marathon but used his 2006 Columbus Marathon winning time of 2:18:13 to qualify for the Trials. Franke is a high school Cross Country coach at Centerville High School.  Last year in addition to his Columbus Marathon win, he also won and set a course record in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon.

Ryan Shay ran for Notre Dame and was from Michigan.

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