Two die near finish line of Raleigh half marathon

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(Photo: Lori Denberg/WTVD)

RALEIGH, N.C. – Two people died during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Sunday morning in downtown Raleigh, according to race organizers.

The identities of the victims have not been released. Both were treated near the finish line and taken to area hospitals where they were pronounced dead, according to WRAL-TV.

The victims were reportedly both men, one 35 and the other 31.

The following is a statement from Dr. P.Z. Pearce, the event’s medical director:

“We regret to confirm that two participants passed away at today’s half-marathon. We are greatly saddened by these tragic losses and our prayers go out to the each of the runner’s family and friends. We have spoken with each of the families and they have asked everyone to kindly respect their privacy during this most difficult of times.”

No other information was immediately available.

More than 12,000 runners from around the world participated in the race, according to WTVD-TV. The event was a marathon and half-marathon.

Temperatures for the race started in the 60s but moved into the 70s later in the morning.


  • Thomas Christopher

    Moderation, people! Too much of ANYTHING can have dire consequences. This is why I stopped running (and needlessly pushing myself to extremes) in recent years and merely walk briskly many miles per week instead. No, I might not be as “bad” as those who run marathons, triathlons, or “mud-runs”, but I get the same health benefits without the risk of heart attack, heat stroke, potential knee replacement surgery, or other health issues, and at a fraction of the costs of expensive running shoes and other running gear.

    • Renee

      So basically you’re saying that anyone more physically fit than you is doing something wrong? Geez, do you boycott the Olympics? And you really need to contact the DoD and tell them to lighten up on our soldiers! We’d hate for them to overexert themselves during training!!

    • Tim Anderson

      Thomas…..kind of a dumb comment. First, you have no idea what caused these two to die. Second, you have zero idea what kind of physical shape they were in. Maybe they didn’t train enough or smart enough. Remember that moderation is different for everyone. Judging people for running marathons is not your call. There are folks who do nothing but sit on the couch all day that may think what you do is insane. My point is, you do not know all of the facts and it is unfair to judge the situation. Think before you post next time.

      • Simple-Jack

        No Tim, Thomas is correct, they passed away while running, they must have had an issue of some sort. The recent running craze has people running in 5ks that weigh 250lds or more, i have seen it. Also too much hydration washing away vital minerals needed for good heart function have killed a number of runners. Lastly, fainting while running has caused many injuries, mostly HEAD injuries in the last few years.

      • Tim Anderson

        ….simple-jack, that’s exactly what I was saying. For Thomas to blame it on the running is wrong. He had no idea what kind of shape or other physical problems these folks had. Blaming it on the running itself was probably the dumbest thing he could have done. At the end of the day, these folks were either prepared or not to run. It is NOT the running that was the cause, it was the physical condition of the people. BTW…I am an ultra-marathoner and have been one for a number of years. To blame these two tragic deaths on the act of running shows me the ignorance and stupidity of folks who really know nothing about the sport. He obviously knows nothing and feels bad because he can’t run anymore, so he is justifying his lack of ability to beat down people who do run.

    • Kori

      You’re seriously calling 13.1 miles “extreme”? Let us be honest here – that’s not a remarkable distance. Literally millions of people run 13.1 miles or more every year not just in races, but in training. It’s seriously no big deal. Whatever you think you had to do for yourself is your business, but 13.1 miles is NOT “extreme” human performance–it’s a teenager’s day at the mall or a mom’s day chasing 2 year old twins. We don’t know what was wrong with these people, but it wasn’t the distance.

  • Julia Hunt

    I think a brisk walk would get you great benefits & it is true you wouldn’t get shin splints, & other health issues.

  • Will Grant

    Their entry fees will not be refunded, by the way, whether they picked up their race t-shirts before they died or not.

  • Stephanie S

    This is so sad. There is no blame here, only the loss of life.

    Cardiologists say that, while it is unusual for two men in their 30s to collapse during a race, people who experience such an incident often have underlying, undiagnosed heart conditions.

  • Lynn

    I know one of the men that died. He was in excellent shape. This isn’t his first big run as he was an avid runner. He knew to stay hydrated and was actually running at a decent pace and not over-exerting himself (yes, I also know people who were running WITH him.) Stop making wild accusations and assumptions (don’t forget what assumptions are) and stick with the basics. Two families lost their son, friend, husband and father. Why can’t we just stick with ‘sorry for your loss’ for those loved ones who might see this story? Have some civility.

    • Tim Anderson

      Lynn…because you have people who use situations like this to push a personal agenda, which forces people to respond. Like you, the loss of life is horrible, especially in a situation like this..All it takes is one idiot to start his/her personal agenda and the focus of loss of life is lost. Good post!

  • David

    I ran the race Sunday. I did not see the person that passed on Fayetteville Street but I did see the young man down a couple of miles back. My prayers go out to the families of both young men. I don’t know either of these men but I believe it to be likely that both runners loved what they were doing on Sunday. Had they passed working in their yards or helping a friend, only their families and
    friends would know. At the end of the day, their families and friends are the ones that needs our prayers.

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