Firefighter Dies in Chicago Marathon

35-year-old collapsed just 500 yards from the finish line
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2011 3:53 AM CDT
Firefighter Dies at Chicago Marathon
Runners start the Chicago Marathon.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

(Newser) – A firefighter running in the Chicago Marathon to raise money for charity collapsed and died yesterday, reports AP. William Caviness, a 35-year-old firefighter from North Carolina with two young children, entered the race to raise money for burn victims. He collapsed about 500 yards from the finish line, and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital around noon. The race's medical director says about one in every 100,000 to 120,000 marathon runners die, reports the Sun-Times; he notes that studies show such deaths typically occur near the finish line or at the end of the race.

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"Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Caviness family in this tremendous loss of Capt. Will Caviness," said the Greensboro Fire Chief in a statement. "The Greensboro Fire Department family is grieving this great loss, and will strive to support the family through this difficult time." Caviness is the second runner to die in five years in the Chicago race. (Read more Chicago Marathon stories.)

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