A runner collapsed after finishing the Brooklyn Half Marathon held on Saturday, May 21. The race was held at full capacity after three years, owing to the pandemic.
The Half Marathon covered the distance between Prospect Park and the Coney Island boardwalk. Close to 22,000 runners took part in the 13.1-mile-long marathon, with numerous participants needing medical attention due to the heat and humidity.
The collapsed runner possibly suffered a cardiac arrest around 9 AM after finishing the Brooklyn Half Marathon. The 30-year-old unidentified man was immediately rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Additionally, 17 other runners had to be taken to the hospital, including five with serious injuries and eight with non-life-threatening injuries. The remaining four suffered minor injuries, one of which refused medical attention.
Authorities believe that the marathon was held under an unfavorable climate, with the temperature reaching up to 70 degrees with 83% humidity at 9 AM.
The organizers of the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the New York Road Runners, have already issued guidelines for participants with tips for staying safe in the heat.
They Tweeted a link to their guide that contained instructions like:
“Heat and humidity increase the physical challenge of running, and health problems can occur when you push beyond what your body can handle. Do not aim for a personal best on a warm, sticky day, particularly if you are not used to such conditions.”
John Peterson, 26, a runner who has taken part in marathons multiple times, shared his experience by saying:
“You have to be aware of your own body’s limits. Sometimes you wanna go for it and push yourself. And it’s awful sometimes you push yourself too far and this kind of thing happens.”
He added that Saturday’s race was the hardest and hottest Brooklyn Half Marathon he has experienced till now.
Representatives of the New York Road Runners said that the organization had medical staff placed throughout the racecourse, ready to aid the runners, spectators, volunteers, and staff.
They gave a statement saying:
“The health and safety of our runners, volunteers, partners, and staff remain the top priority for NYRR. In coordination and consultation with the city agency partners and weather experts, NYRR was closely monitoring weather conditions leading up to and during the race.”
New York City will see temperatures rise as heat waves hit the city. The temperatures are expected to peak at nearly 90 degrees on Sunday.
The heat is expected to cool down by Sunday night with a thunderstorm brewing near the coast. The weekend will be roughly ten degrees hotter than the average temperature in the city during late May.