Saturday, November 3


It's hard to get too worked up about Notre Dame football and another loss today, even if it does stop our 43-year winning streak over Navy.

Ryan Shay, a runner I'd seen in ads in Runner's World, has died. And he was also a Notre Dame grad. I'm trying to remember what those ads were for.

"The Olympic trials is traditionally a day of celebration, but we are heartbroken."

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.

I haven't seen a cause of death. I guess the thing to take from this is that life is short. Enjoy it.


Blogger R said...

That's terrible... very young.

I spent the day at a Dia de los Muertos celebration. A lot of the same irony of conflicting joy and sadness.

Which is, of course, what life is.

November 04, 2007 1:14 AM  
Blogger bl said...

Yep. I hear he had an enlarged heart.

Still, not exactly sure what to say or think after that.

Heartbroken seems to sum it all up.

ESPN reports on the Olympic marathon trials and all they say is that someone died. They don't even mention who made the team or how. And it was a great race and remarkable finish.

November 04, 2007 5:10 AM  
Blogger KWK said...

Wow. What a shocking tragedy. In all my reading of the news about Ryan Shay, there was one thing that really jumped out at me:
"'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..."

I had this exact conversation with a fellow marathoner just a few weeks ago, but we both assumed that sort of thing would only happen when we were in our 80's.

November 04, 2007 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wonderful is that it does seem like he lived his life to the absolute fullest, and that he lived it with joy. His life was short, but it was wide...

November 04, 2007 4:05 PM  

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