Officials with Savannah-Chatham metro police, Southside Fire/EMS and Memorial University Medical Center all declined to comment on health issues related to the marathon Saturday, referring questions to the San Diego-based Competitor Group, the company that puts on the race.
Company spokesman Dan Cruz said late Saturday night he couldn’t provide any details on the death, including where or why the runner collapsed. The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of kin, Cruz said.
“The family has been adamant for their request for privacy while they notified loved ones,” he said.
Cruz emailed the following statement on behalf of Dr. Lewis Maharam, the Competitor Group’s medical director:
“We are deeply saddened by the unfortunate and untimely death of a participant in today’s event. This is a heartbreaking and tragic loss. Our prayers go out to the runner’s family and friends during this most difficult time.”
It was the second weekend in a row someone died during a Rock n’ Roll Marathon. A 37-year-old man died in the Competitor Group’s Los Angeles marathon in Oct. 30.
According to a 1996 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the risk of dying suddenly in a marathon because of cardiac problems is about 1 in 50,000. The study looked at 215,413 runners who competed in the Marine Corps and Twin Cities marathons over a combined 30-year period.