Dallas,TX — According to multiple sources, a runner died today after finishing the Rock N Roll Half-marathon in Dallas. This was the inaugural running of the new Rock N Roll series event. According to USA Today, 32 year-old Mark Austry of Lantana, Texas collapsed at the finish-line and died.
While the number of runners who die in marathons is very small, there have been a number of deaths at races over the last year, including at the Dallas White Rock Marathon, Country Music Marathon, Baltimore Marathon, Manitoba Marathon and the Rock N Roll San Jose Half-marathon all in 2009. In 2009, nearly 468,000 full-marathon finishes were recorded in just the United States alone according to research done by marathonguide.com. The number is substantially larger when adding half-marathon finishes. For comparison, the established rate of sudden death is 0.8 deaths per 100,000 with marathons and the rate is 1.5 per 100,000 finishes in triathlons, according to analysis of more than 2,800 USA Triathlon events by Kevin Harris, M.D., of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and colleagues.
There are a number of common reasons for runner deaths in marathons. In races run in cool weather, the most common causes are undiagnosed heart conditions or previously undetected heart disease. You can read more about the causes of marathon deaths in our article “Why do marathon runners die during marathons?”
We also discussed this topic in an episode of our weekly video show last year. You can watch the episode below.
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