Autopsies to be performed on Dead Marathon Runners

October 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Autopsies will be performed Monday on the three runners who died over the weekend at a Detroit marathon. All three collapsed after running more than 10 miles each. Of the thousands of runners who crossed the finish line during the Detroit Free Press Flagstar Marathon, the focus was on the three who didn't.

36-year-old Daniel Langdon collapsed around the 11th mile, 65-year-old Rick Brown went down 15 minutes later near the same spot. And 26-year-old Jon Fenlon collapsed just after completing a half marathon.

"I saw them giving them C.P.R, giving them oxygen," said marathon runner Charlie Langton.

Monday, autopsies will be performed on all three runners who were competing in the 13.1 mile half marathon. The weather, 41 degrees around the time most runners were finishing up, is not believed to be a factor.

Fenlon first gained fame three-years ago when he caught the home run ball that sent his Detroit Tigers to the 2006 World Series. An avid athlete, his death has stunned his loved ones.

"He seemed to be in really great shape," said Fenlon's neighbor Bear Halterman.

Brown's death was just as shocking. He was well-known within his community for his love of running.

"Great husband, great father, great friend, great runner," said his running partner Sharon Marks.

Experienced runners say this tragedy should serve as a warning to all runners to check in with their physicians before competing.

"It's a risk, it's like any sport at all. Bad things can happen," said runner Charlie Langton.

Deaths during distance races are somewhat rare. The last time someone died at the Detroit event was in 1994 when a 42-year-old man died of a heart attack after running more than 20 miles.




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