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Rocketta
Nov 4th, 2007, 01:50 AM
Top distance runner Ryan Shay dies during marathon Olympic trials
By RACHEL COHEN, AP Sports Writer
November 3, 2007



NEW YORK (AP) -- 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.


Shay was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m., New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg said.


"It cuts a knife through everybody's hearts," said Wittenberg, whose group organized the race.


She said Shay received immediate medical attention. The medical examiner's office said an autopsy will be performed Sunday.


"There were several layers of medical response. It was very

quick," said Wittenberg, who would not elaborate on what steps were taken.


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, when millions usually line the streets in one of the sport's showcase days.

"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 while running as Alicia Craig at Stanford. She and Ryan met at the 2005 NYC 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.


Shay, who was born in Michigan and graduated from Notre Dame, qualified for the trials at the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon.


Before the race, Shay said during a conference call he had moved from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., where he had been training with Team Running USA, to Flagstaff, where he was training at the Center For High Altitude Training.


"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."


AP Sports Writer Melissa Murphy in New York contributed to this story.

Olórin
Nov 4th, 2007, 01:52 AM
Shit! :speakles:

What did he actually die of then? This is so weird!

my jolly
Nov 4th, 2007, 01:55 AM
This is traumatic. It sucks to lose your life doing something you love. Then again, most would probably prefer to die that way., Either way, it's really unfortunate.

Wannabeknowitall
Nov 4th, 2007, 02:30 AM
I was watching the beginning of the Olympic trials and wondering why it's so early.
I mean 10 months before the Olympics and a day before the New York Marathon.
Who made this schedule?

Anyone I feel so bad for Shay's family. We don't know what killed him but it makes things a little real for me.
I remember listening to a story of Winston Churchill and a marathon runner.
And Winston wasn't the most active person. Cigars and sweeties were a big portion of his diet.
The marathon runner was at the prime of his career yet he was the one who died young.

Sometimes genes can override even the best environment we put ourselves into. :(

hablo
Nov 4th, 2007, 02:45 AM
Sad and tragic.

Hopefully, this has nothing to do with doping.

the cat
Nov 5th, 2007, 02:47 AM
My heart goes out to Ryan Shay and his family and his tragoc passing at the age of 28. :sad: :hug: A heart attack is suspected of taking this young mans life just as he's entering what should be the prime of his long distance running career. It's hard to believe. And it makes me wonder if athletes like Ryan are pushing themselves too hard in training from a young age on which could lead to major health problems one day.

meyerpl
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:10 AM
It's a good thing I've modeled my lifestyle much closer to Winston Churchill's than a marathon runner's.

Seriously, this is sad news. He must have had a bad ticker or something. I feel for his family and friends.

Rocketta
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:16 PM
Runner Ryan Shay Was Diagnosed With Heart Problems

NEW YORK (AP) ― Elite distance runner Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died Saturday during the U.S. men's marathon Olympic trials, had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart but cleared by doctors, his father said.

"The thing that made him such a great runner may have killed him," Joe Shay told The Associated Press.

An enlarged heart like Ryan's translated into extra endurance -- crucial for a distance runner.

Ryan and other top athletes underwent medical testing in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he trained, last spring, Joe Shay said, and he was cleared for running.

"He said the doctors told him that because your heart rate is so low, when you're older you may need a pacemaker to make adjustments on that," said Joe Shay, adding his son first was diagnosed with a larger than normal heart at age 14.

Scientists long have noticed the phenomenon of the "athlete's heart." Athletes who train hard in aerobic sports, such as cycling, running or swimming, tend to have a bigger heart that pumps more blood throughout the body.

The 28-year-old Ryan Shay collapsed about 5 1/2 miles into the race.

"I got a call that Ryan had fallen down ... then I got another call that his heart had stopped," Joe Shay said.

The medical examiner's office said an autopsy will be performed Sunday.

What was supposed to be a glorious weekend for the sport became instead a wake. That somber mood is sure to carry over to Sunday's New York City Marathon, in which 38,000 runners will compete.

"It's a big loss for the running community," said 2004 Olympic women's marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, who used to train with Shay in California. "It's a day we should be celebrating. It has cast a pall."

Shay and Ryan Hall and their wives had hoped to celebrate together after the trials. Now Hall is dedicating his race at the Olympics to Shay.

Minutes after Hall crossed the finish line first in record time, his arms raised in triumph, he heard the unthinkable news.

Shay was one of Hall's former training partners, and Shay's wife was Hall's teammate at Stanford.

"That just cut me straight to the heart," Hall said. "It makes you forget what you just did."

Organizers had decided to pair the trials with the storied annual marathon, hoping the timing would attract large crowds. The plan worked, as fans fought gusty wind to line the compact 26.2-mile course, which began in Rockefeller Center and traipsed through Times Square before heading to Central Park for five loops.

They witnessed a potentially historic day for American marathon running. Hall, a 25-year-old who had never raced the distance before April, established himself as a contender in Beijing, with a trials record time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 2 seconds. Joining him in China will be Dathan Ritzenhein (2:11:07) and Brian Sell (2:11:40).

Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, was hobbled by cramps in both calves and fell back to eighth.

Shay hit the ground near the Central Park boathouse, a popular Manhattan tourist spot.

"He crossed right in front of me and stepped off the course," said runner Marc Jeuland of Chapel Hill, N.C., who did not see Shay collapse. "He nearly tripped me."

A statement from USA Track & Field said Shay immediately received CPR. He was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 8:46 a.m., according to New York City police.

A recreational runner died during last month's Chicago Marathon, the warmest in that event's history. But the death of an elite athlete during a major competition is a rare and startling occurrence.

On Friday, Hall and his wife, Sara, and Shay and his wife, Alicia, went for a run in Central Park. Shay seemed fine, Sara Hall said.

The Halls and Alicia were college teammates. Sara Hall considers Alicia one of her closest friends; she was a bridesmaid at the Shays' wedding in July.

It was in New York two years ago while watching the NYC marathon that Shay met his future wife. Alicia, who's hoping to make it to Beijing in the women's 10,000, was a two-time NCAA champion and the collegiate 10,000-meter record-holder while running as Alicia Craig at Stanford.

At the 2004 Olympic men's marathon trials, Shay was a favorite going in but was hampered by a hamstring strain and finished 23rd.

Shay was born May 4, 1979, in Ann Arbor, Mich., the fifth of eight children in a running family. His parents are the cross country and track coaches at Michigan's Central Lake High School.

"He achieved through hard work and effort goals and dreams that most people will never realize," Joe Shay said. "He was a champion, a winner and a good person. ... He used to say, 'Dad, there's a lot of guys out there with a lot more talent than me, but they will never outwork me."'

At Notre Dame, Shay earned the school's first national individual track title with his victory in the NCAA 10,000 meters. Shay went on to become a five-time national road racing champion, winning the 2003 U.S. marathon, 2003 and 2004 half-marathon, 2004 20k and 2005 15k.

A moment of silence was observed for Shay, as well as for the recently slain brother of a Notre Dame football player, before Navy played Notre Dame in South Bend., Ind.

He trained in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., with the Halls, Keflezighi and Kastor before moving to Flagstaff, Ariz.

"If you probably asked him if there was any way he wanted to go, it was out on the race course," said Terrence Mahon, who coached him in Mammoth.

Abdi Abdirahman, who dropped out of the marathon because of injury, trained with Shay for the past 3 1/2 months in Flagstaff.

"I'm speechless. I still don't believe it," he said. "I probably was the last person to talk to him. We ate breakfast together, we ate lunch together, went to bed at the same time."

For Hall, Saturday culminated a reluctant route to the marathon. Neither Hall nor the second-place finisher, the 24-year-old Ritzenhein, had run a marathon as of a year ago. Saturday marked the second career race at the distance for both.

Hall broke away from the leading pack of five runners at about the 17th mile Saturday. He looked relaxed and fresh the entire race and was pumping his fist and bellowing over the final miles.

Too soon, those bellows became hushed words of shock and sympathy for Shay.

"He was a tremendous champion who was here today to pursue his dreams," said Craig Masback, CEO of USA Track & Field. "The Olympic trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken."

KennyChante4ever
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:43 PM
It's so tragic but I'm glad Ryan's dad is being vocal with the truth and deterring people from blaming the sport! Ryan knew that with his enlarged heart he was putting himself at risk. (I say this as a fellow marathoner)

Wannabeknowitall
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:57 PM
It's so tragic but I'm glad Ryan's dad is being vocal with the truth and deterring people from blaming the sport! Ryan knew that with his enlarged heart he was putting himself at risk. (I say this as a fellow marathoner)

I don't think anyone is blaming the sport but the schedule is kinda messed up.
Many of these runners would have loved to also have tried the New York Marathon but you can't just run another marathon the next day and think you're going to have enough to be as competitive as you like.

I have an athletes heart (my doctors at first thought it was bradycardia). So I understand the risk that a person takes when performing in any sport like that. It's just after a while something you try not to worry about. And Ryan did the right thing.
He did something he loved and I think for his family, it will help in the grieving stage.

KennyChante4ever
Nov 8th, 2007, 12:53 PM
I don't think anyone is blaming the sport but the schedule is kinda messed up.
Many of these runners would have loved to also have tried the New York Marathon but you can't just run another marathon the next day and think you're going to have enough to be as competitive as you like.

What does this have to do with the schedule? The USATF normally has the trials in some obscure place, but they wanted to raise the profile for these Games, which is why they were in NYC and the women's will be the day before the Boston Marathon. The thing that I think is messed up is that the USATF wouldn't allow the elite US men and women to be part of the existing marathons...most of the male runners (the in-contention ones) said that they'd rather had run the NYCM as the trials (as opposed to the mind-numbing loops of Central Park). I would have loved to have seen the NYCM be the time trials! Still, none of this matters as regards to the Ryan Shay tragedy.

I have an athletes heart (my doctors at first thought it was bradycardia). So I understand the risk that a person takes when performing in any sport like that. It's just after a while something you try not to worry about. And Ryan did the right thing. He did something he loved and I think for his family, it will help in the grieving stage.

Mr. Shay has been fantastic! I know it's a sad time for their family but Ryan would've been proud of how optimistic (and true to Ryan) they're being during this difficult time.

Philbo
Nov 8th, 2007, 02:09 PM
Wow this gave me goosebumps as it reminded me a lot of one of my best friends from childhood who, at the age of 25 was jogging along the beach a few years and ago and just dropped down, unable to breathe, dead of heart attack at 25 years old... never smoked or touched drugs.. no family history..

sometimes when your time is up, your time is up :( What a horrible story..

harloo
Nov 8th, 2007, 02:37 PM
Wow, this is so sad. My friends cousin died from a heart attack while playing basketball right in front of his three year old daughter. :sad:

hablo
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Wow this gave me goosebumps as it reminded me a lot of one of my best friends from childhood who, at the age of 25 was jogging along the beach a few years and ago and just dropped down, unable to breathe, dead of heart attack at 25 years old... never smoked or touched drugs.. no family history..


Wow, that's pretty tragic.
Was an autopsy done on your friend to determine what was the cause of the heart attack?

Mrs. Peel
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:51 PM
Something like this happened to my friend's brother. He was a champion swimmer in around the same age as Shay. He collapsed at a meet, right after finishing up his heat. So, so tragic! :sad: A perfect physical specimen but bad heart..they had no idea.

Very sad for Shay and his family. :sad:

Hashim.
Nov 8th, 2007, 04:54 PM
:sad:

Philbo
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:22 PM
Wow, that's pretty tragic.
Was an autopsy done on your friend to determine what was the cause of the heart attack?

They did do an autopsy but nothing definitive that caused the heart attack was identified.. They ended up telling us vague stuff like he 'may have had a heart murmur or irregular heartbeat' - but it was just a complete shock and tragedy.. Oh I feel sad thinking about him now.. it would have been his bday on the 3rd of november :( he would be 30 now!