US Marathon Runner Dies in Olympic Trials

Ryan Shay collapsed 5 miles into the race
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2007 1:26 PM CDT
An ambulance carrying marathon runner Ryan Shay makes its way through Central Park, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007, in New York. Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday after collapsing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Four-time US long-distance champion Ryan Shay died today during Olympic marathon trials in New York City, the AP reports. Shay, 28, collapsed about 5 miles into the 26.2-mile race and could not be revived. The cause of death remains unclear. “It cuts a knife through everybody's hearts,” said one NYC racing official.

“The Olympic Trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken,” said a US track and field official. Shay was trying to earn a spot at the Beijing Games. He had been a favorite to make the 2004 Games, but he finished poorly after straining his hamstring. Shay’s friend Ryan Hall won today’s qualifier, only afterward learning of his death.