Shock as three collapse and die in Detroit marathon

DETROIT - A half-marathoner and two other runners died during the Detroit marathon in the US on Sunday, organisers said.

DETROIT - A half-marathoner and two other runners died during the Detroit marathon in the US on Sunday, organisers said.

Daniel Langdon, 36, of Laingsburg, collapsed at about 9.02am between the 17 and 19km markers, said Rich Harshbarger, vice-president of consumer marketing for the Detroit Media Partnership.

Rick Brown, 65, of Marietta, Ohio, collapsed at 9.17am (US eastern time), near where Langdon went down, and 26-year-old Jon Fenlon of Waterford collapsed at about 9.18am, just after finishing the half-marathon in 1:53:37, Harshbarger said.

It was unclear whether Brown and Langdon were taking part in the 21km half-marathon or the full race.

Harshbarger told the Free Press that there were at least six medical stations on the race course and that emergency personnel were on the scene within seconds.

Every runner must sign a medical release form, and they are encouraged to talk to their doctors before they run the race, Harshbarger said.

"On a day when so many people bring such energy and challenge themselves to do their utmost, this news is very difficult to hear," said Free Press editor and publisher Paul Anger. "Our deepest sympathies are with the families."

The temperature was about minus2°C when the marathon started but had risen to 5°C by 10am. Coach Keith Hanson said he doubted that the weather had anything to do with the deaths. "In my mind conditions were perfect."

Deaths at marathons are relatively rare. The last death at the Detroit event was in 1994, when a 42-year-old man died of a heart attack after running more than 32km. More than 19000 people took part. - Sapa-AP

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